Friday, May 20, 2011

Bobby Hutcherson - Components

This was one of Hutcherson's few truly challenging dates as leader, an amalgam of mid-60's post bop sensibilities and mind-blowing "New Thing" esoterics. It is perhaps his most consistently engaging, focusing the experiments on "Dialogue" into a vision more wholly personal--all the while retaining the sense of exploratory exhiliration that made that earlier session so great.

Hutcherson is--fittingly--a far more prominent voice here, composing half the album and taking greater liberties with his solo space. Joe Chambers, whose thoughtful accompaniment and propulsive drive provided the backdrop for numerous "salad-era" Blue Note sessions, penned the other half; his decisively "free" compositions, much like his drumming, furnish the foundations for some truly intricate, engaging group communication. The improvisation itself is more compact, the tracks shorter, the scope more synoptic--a sort of manifesto for the vibist's future and past, cut clean down the middle and made ready for consumption.

Suffice it to say, the group is killer and delivers the goods. The rhythm work is rock solid, the front line of Spaulding and Hubbard as fiery and captivating as it was or would be anywhere else. Each might go on to bigger and better things, but nowhere did these musicians better fit Bobby's world, sound so sympathetic, emphatic, enthused.

This is Hutcherson's DEFINITIVE Blue Note session, a watermark for the label... and I'll bet that few can say otherwise. - Leone Evangelista


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