Monday, December 22, 2014

point of departure

Andrew Hill reached the pinnacle of his powers and surveyed the full spectrum of jazz on this dense and dissonant discovery.  In his first year recording with Blue Note Records, Hill had already put out two masterful records:  'Black Fire' and 'Judgement'.  His next record would top them both.  

'Point of Departure' features Andrew Hill on piano with an all star lineup of horn players, Kenny Dorham on trumpet;  Eric Dolphy on alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and flute;  and Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone;  with a killer rhythm section of Richard Davis on double bass and Tony Williams on drums.  The session took place at Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey with Alfred Lion on production and Rudy Van Gelder on recording and engineering.  

Hill would remember:  "This was still in the first year of my Blue Note recording contract. Eric (Dolphy) was playing at the Five Spot with Charlie Mingus. I thought I would get together with him and talk music and he was kind enough to work a few jobs with me and so I presented the idea to Blue Note and they bought it. At first Charles Lloyd was going to play tenor, but for reasons beyond anyone's control, except Charles, he couldn't make it. So consequently, Joe became tenor saxophonist. And Kenny Dorham, who could play almost anywhere, was good. And then, Tony Williams had come to town and everyone was talking about him. All of a sudden, there was a nucleus formed for the band and we just made two Blue Note rehearsals and went on and did the session...It wasn't an isolated, academic situation because there was a synergy with the jazz audiences at that time. There were no limitations. They give bebop more credit than it deserves, because bebop was not an academic situation. It was just something that the people could feel."

'Point of Departure' 
full album:

All music composed by Andrew Hill.

1. "Refuge"   12:16
2. "New Monastery"   7:05
3. "Spectrum"   9:47
4. "Flight 19"   4:18
5. "Dedication"   6:45

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