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Bobby Hutcherson: Happenings

LP: Blue Note BST 84231
CD: Blue Note / Toshiba-EMI TOCJ-6430 (Japan)

Tracks & Composers
1 Aquarian Moon (Hutcherson)
2 Bouquet (Hutcherson)
3 Rojo (Hutcherson)
4 Maiden Voyage (Hancock)
5 Head Start (Hutcherson)
6 When You Are Near (Hutcherson)
7 The Omen (Hutcherson)

Bobby Hutcherson (vib, mar, d); Herbie Hancock (p); Bob Cranshaw (b); Joe Chambers (d, mar)

Recording Date & Location
8 Feb 1966, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Happenings is a wonderfully focused, intense album, even in its quieter, reflective moments. There's no let up from start to finish. It's also the first to feature Hutcherson's compositions exclusively (with one exception, Hancock's "Maiden Voyage"), and the first to feature Hutcherson in a quartet setting (as a leader). As Leonard Feather states in the original liner notes, "Since the program of material involves an almost exclusively Hutcherson-written series of works, the album is more definitely and personally Hutcherson than any in which he has previously participated."

In fact, forced to pick just one Hutcherson release to represent his work from the 1960's, I just might pick Happenings. It's that good.

Since Hutcherson doesn't have to share the stage with a horn player, you get more of Hutcherson's vibes (and Hancock's piano). Plus, the smaller ensemble gives the performances a more open, airy sound. I should also mention Chamber's drumming. It's superb.


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Original text copyright Scott Mortensen 2006

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