Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Grachan Moncur III|
Grachan Moncur III, Evolution
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Grachan Moncur III, Evolution
Debut of important jazz composer
Dennis W. Wong | 09/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The trombonist Grachan Monchur is relatively unknown to the general jazz public but in the '60s, he made a series of important progressive albums for Blue Note ususally in the company of altoist Jackie McLean and vibist Bobby Hutcherson. This newly remastered CD in 24 bit is a god-send. It was Moncur's very first release and besides McLean and Hutcherson, he is abetted by bassist Bob Cranshaw, trumpeter Lee Morgan and a very young 17 yr old drummer who would achieve fame in the Miles Davis Quintet, Tony Williams. The tunes are not your normal Be-bop staple but in a more progressive stance such as the title tune of the album which is practically all in whole tones. Of course, after having served a tenure in the Farmer-Golson Jazztet, Monchur can also swing with the modal/boppist "Coaster" and also a tribute to Thelonius Monk, "Monk in Wonderland". Anyone intrigued by Moncur's compositions should also check the albums he did with Jackie McLean, "One Step Beyond", "Destination Out", "Bout Soul plus his last album featuring Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock, "Some Other Stuff". Recommended for all those interested in modal-free form jazz."
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 09/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Larry Young's Unity and Tony Williams' Life Time were reissued in the first round of the Blue Note RVG Edition Series nearly ten years ago, I was surprised that Grachan Moncur III's revolutionary "Evolution" didn't join them. Although it is more avant-garde than the average BN outing of the time, it is one of those albums that collectors have been screaming to have available for years. (In fairness, it was available as part of a Mosaic Select set since 2003.) Well EMI has finally evolved to the point where this fine disc is with us once again. This November 21, 1963 recording is the third of three sessions featuring Jackie McLean on alto sax, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes and Moncur on trombone. (The first, Jackie McLean's "One Step Beyond," now becomes the leading candidate for RVG reissue IMO; I have reviewed the second, McLean's Destination Out!) In many ways, this date is the strongest of the three, primarily because the chemistry these musicians established after three recording sessions, not to mention live dates as they were a working band, is truly impressive. Tony Williams return as the drummer (he also plays on "Beyond," but was replaced by Roy Haynes on "Out") is significant and essential to establishing a more expansive rhythmic foundation. The addition of Lee Morgan to the frontline was a stroke of genius, and this is one of the few "out" BN recordings he participated on. (I wonder how much his involvement on this date influenced his Search for the New Land?) Finally, all four of Moncur's original compositions are amazing, quirky classics, from the shifting pace of "Air Raid," to the haunting title track, to the classic modern groove of "The Coaster," to the mischievous "Monk in Wonderland." Listening to this album again makes me so grateful that other jazz fans can finally evolve!"
William R. Nicholas | Mahwah, NJ USA | 03/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like Jackie McClean's Destination Out or Dialouge by Bobby Hutcherson, Evolution is essntial for you.
When boppers were doing retrotunes and the young lions avant sheets of noise, these guys split the differance and made music even more compelling. Moncur, McClean, Hutcherson and Williams blend the blues, chamber jazz and the avant garde. There is plenty of free-jamming here, but it is in the context of freshly composed work.
The "out there" playing that does occur, and there is tons of it, serve as working parts unique and sophistiacted compositions. Each song is carefully honed, with shadings and dynamics from Moncur and Hutcherson. Hearing a vibraphone and a trombone work around one another is not a typical intersection and jazz, and these guys weave in and out of each other's orbit beautifully.
Tony Williams is outstanding as always: He was probably the best jazz drummer of his time, and his pollyrythms and flurishes here surprise you as always. He simply does things, instinctively, that no other drummer would think of. McClean is also brillant with his minimal playing. While other sax players were trying to copy Coletranes 1000 note a minute playing--i am not kidding about the 1000-Jackie used a compartatively spare style. But his solos are always powerful and piercing in their use of space. (It is too bad he and Trane never worked together in Tranes late period. The contrast would have been increadible.)
This band had a syngery and a stylistic instict that made it top flight. They simply took their own direction when most in jazz were taking sides, and fortunately for us, they recorded it on Evolution.
My only regreat is I got this for $50 on Vynal before the reissue. Oh well, it was absolutley worth it."