Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kenny Drew - Undercurrent

Kenny Drew's "Undercurrent" is one of those classic Blue Note albums that most people have never heard of. Originally released on CD domestically in 1987, it was deleted in the early 90s had has rarely been seen since. This import version is all that remains of an almost forgotten classic. If you are intrigued by this title, I seriously suggest you fork over the big bucks to buy it now. Of course all things are possible, but I seriously doubt this will be released in the domestic RVG series. It just wouldn't sell enough copies because Drew isn't that recognizable. That's a shame because he has made irreplaceable contributions to many Blue Note classics -- "Blue Train" and "Dexter Calling" to name two -- in addition to this fine album as a leader. "Undercurrent" is a magnificent hard bop session from December 1960 featuring the talents of Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, Sam Jones and Louis Hayes. The six compositions, all by Drew, are terrific medium and up-tempo swingers, with the exception of the lovely concluding piece, "Ballade." "Undercurrent" is as good as anything Blue Note recorded in 1960, and should really be picked up at any price.


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