Our thirteenth feature for Blue Note 75 for 75 is very Halloween appropriate: Andrew Hill’s Dance With Death:
Dig that nice dark piano vibe, the odd head-nodding shuffle step of the rhythm section, and those intense but accessible solos — this is a band simmering a nice heady brew of creeping funk that’s avant-garde without being impenetrable. There’s a skeleton of bop structure around which the band hangs ideas from the spectrum of contemporary styles such as post-bop, modal, and free. “Fish ‘N Rice” exemplifies the approach taken:
The line-up here is full of new breed players who were making in-roads with the label by the late-’60’s, players like trumpeter Charles Tolliver and multi-saxophonist Joe Farrell. Along with Hill, they were part of the “new thing” at Blue Note to a point where a drummer like Billy Higgins who helped pioneer free jazz with Ornette Coleman seems more of the old-school.
The record isn’t all dark. There’s tunes with titles like “Yellow Violet” and “Love Nocturne” but I dig that more ominous tone myself. There could be no more apropos title than “Black Sabbath”:
Stay tuned for more Blue Note 75 for 75…