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Bobby Hutcherson: Dialogue

LP: Blue Note BST 84198
CD: Blue Note 35586 (RVG Edition)

Tracks & Composers
1 Catta (Hill)
2 Idle While (Chambers)
3 Les Noirs Marchant (Hill)
4 Dialogue (Chambers)
5 Ghetto Lights (Hill)
6 Jasper (Hill) [CD Bonus Track]

Freddie Hubbard (tp); Sam Rivers (ts, ss, b-cl, fl); Bobby Hutcherson (vib, mar); Andrew Hill (p); Richard Davis (b); Joe Chambers (d)

Recording Date & Location
3 April 65, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

"Jasper" was originally included on the LP Spiral. The CD reissue of Dialogue includes it as a bonus track, since it was recorded at the same 3 April 65 session as the other tracks. It has been removed from the CD issue of Medina/Spiral.

Dialogue was Hutcherson's first album to be released, and, for some, it remains his greatest. The distinctive compositions from Hill and Chambers and the collective interplay are what you remember most about this album--even though the soloing is superb too. The album is very much in the "1960's progressive Blue Note" mold, which artists like Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers, and Hutcherson helped define.

"Catta" is an unusual work. Like many of Andrew Hill's compositions, it sounds both avant-garde and earthy. "Idle While" is a gentle, caressing tune, one of many that Chambers composed and recorded with Hutcherson. (Chambers also wrote many of the most "out" compositions that Hutcherson recorded, such as "Dialogue" and all of the pieces on the second half of Components.)

"Les Noir Marchant" is a strange and oddly beautiful march. Between the main theme at the beginning and the re-statement of the theme at the end, the focus is on texture and collective playing rather than solos. In some ways, this is more like a classical composition than a jazz piece. "Dialogue" is difficult to describe. As the title implies, talking about this song is like trying to explain the ebb and flow of a conversation.

"Ghetto Lights" is the most mainstream song on the record. It features stunning solos from Rivers (on soprano sax) and Hutcherson, who is almost impossibly bluesy. "Jasper" is another a straight-forward swinger. Hubbard especially seems to relish the opportunity to let loose and blow.

Dialogue is a fascinating CD, one of the seminal Blue Note recordings of the 1960's.


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Original text copyright Scott Mortensen 2006

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