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Bobby Hutcherson: Components

LP: Blue Note BST 84213
CD: Blue Note CDP 7243 8 29027 2 0

Tracks & Composers
1 Components (Hutcherson)
2 Tranquility (Hutcherson)
3 Little B's Poem (Hutcherson)
4 West 22nd Street Theme (Hutcherson)
5 Movement (Chambers)
6 Juba Dance (Chambers)
7 Air (Chambers)
8 Pastoral (Chambers)

Freddie Hubbard (tp); James Spaulding (as, fl); Bobby Hutcherson (vib, mar); Herbie Hancock (p, org); Ron Carter (b); Joe Chambers (d)

Recording Date & Location
14 June 1965, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Components is the second in Hutcherson's string of ten (!) consecutive superlative releases for Blue Note from 1965 to 1969. The first half of this disc features Hutcherson's compositions, including what might be called his signature tune, "Little B's Poem." The piece, dedicated to Hutcherson's son, captures a wonderful sense of child-like enjoyment. As it's name implies, "Tranquility" is a reflective piece, and it prominently displays Hutcherson's ballad mastery--as well as Hubbard's and Hancock's. The title cut, "Components," is an unconventional hard-bop swinger, as is "West 22nd Street Theme."

The second half of the record is very different, but it's just as compelling. It features the compositions of Joe Chambers, Hutcherson's frequent collaborator in the recording studio. (In fact, Chambers' works appear on all but two of Hutcherson's studio recordings from the Sixties.) These compositions are much more free; they have more in common with the works on Dialogue. Pieces like "Juba Dance" and "Air" are textured and evocative, seeming to anticipate the work of jazz composers like John Carter.

The album closes with "Pastoral," a beautiful theme that's more conventionally structured. Chambers also played with Jimmy Giuffre's group around this time. It's interesting to consider how Giuffre may have influenced Chamber's composing. For example, you might compare "Pastoral" with "New England Mood," a Giuffre composition that's now available on The Jimmy Giuffre Three CD (Atlantic).


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Original text copyright Scott Mortensen 2006

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