As an arranger, composer, pianist, and producer, Duke Pearson was Blue Note's secret weapon for more than a decade. This 1967 all-star octet session features 6 great Pearson tunes and arrangements. Freddie Hubbard, Ja... more »mes Spaulding, and Stanley Turrentine are the primary soloists. This music pops with vitality. An alternate take of "Los Malo Hombres" has been added to the original LP.« less
As an arranger, composer, pianist, and producer, Duke Pearson was Blue Note's secret weapon for more than a decade. This 1967 all-star octet session features 6 great Pearson tunes and arrangements. Freddie Hubbard, James Spaulding, and Stanley Turrentine are the primary soloists. This music pops with vitality. An alternate take of "Los Malo Hombres" has been added to the original LP.
"It's a honor to be the first one to review this excellent recording. I just purchased this re-release by Mr. RVG and all I gotta say is thanks a million, because this one is superb beyond belief. From the moment I became a jazz fan I also became almost immediately a big fan of Duke Pearson. Yet, I had only one album of his as a leader 'Sweet Honey Bee' (which by the way I give a 4.5!)and I still had some doubts about just how good this one could possibly be. Apparently, according to many jazz experts I've read, RVG has already remastered all the classics and most of these newest re-releases are sub-great. Well, I can tell you that statement is a terrible generalization on top of just plain arrogance. I love this recording and it already is becoming one of my personal favorites. Duke is an amazing composer as well as being one of the greatest jazz pianists of all-time . And that line-up of his with Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax), James Spaulding (alto sax) ... do I need to go on or are you kind of getting the picture. Stanley T. and Freddie were at the top of their game in 67! It's just an A+ performance by the whole octet.
By the way, their bossa nova love ballad "My Love Awaits (O' Meu Amor Espero)" has to be one of the most beautiful pieces of music my ears have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I play it over and over again, each time seeming to love it more than the last. As Nat Hentoff wrote in his original liner notes "...it's as close to a flawless performance as one can find..."
If you are a fan of any of these cats, then definitely purchase this album. I can't recommend this enough! These guys give great performances with not one of them stealing or hogging the spotlight from the others. That's one thing I really love about Duke P. is that he loves to share the love - he gives each member of the band their equal time to shine with their solos. And do they ever shine and deliver the goods!!!"
Colin Jones | Rhyl, North Wales | 01/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's a nice Latin Jazz album which might appeal to Horace Silver fans if they wouldn't mind just a little less funk. The compositions are all by Duke Pearson. The front-line players - excellent though they are - nearly get upstaged by a lovely rhythm section comprising Pearson (piano), Gene Taylor (double bass) and Grady Tate (drums). It makes me want to go a-hunting for more Duke Pearson albums. What better recommendation could there be?"
Great composer. Decent performer.
The Blade | 01/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Great music, but a wee bit "soft" for my tastes. Wynton Kelly is more to my liking."
Duke's Got The Right Touch
Jack Baker | LeRoy,IL | 05/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Right Touch is a laid back groover from Duke Pearson, taking full advantage of an octet setting of Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Garnett Brown (trombone), James Spaulding (alto sax), Jerry Dodgion (alto sax & flute), Stanley Turrentine (tenor sax), Gene Taylor (bass), and Grady Tate (drums). All of the delightful compositions are by Pearson, who tickles the ivories with bouncy perfection. What to say about the rest of his cohorts, other than `outstanding'? The songs are all well constructed, precise, but not boringly so. "Chili Peppers" is a perfect opener, fast and airy, with that Latin tinge. "My Love Waits (O Meu Amor Espera)" was written while Pearson and the lady who later became his wife were living in separate cities. The sense of longing is palpable in this divinely beautiful love song that needs no words to convey its emotional impact. "Los Malos Hombres" (The Bad Men) is another Latin flavored piece, taken at a quick pace. Dig those unison horns! My fave piece has to be the bluesy "Scrap Iron". Pearson's got some great licks on this one and Turrentine's tone is somehow mournful and joyous at the same time, just the way the blues should be.
The Van Gelder edition sounds incredible and includes an alternate take of "Los Malos Hombres". The drums in particular attracted my attention on this release, especially on "My Love Waits," where you can hear Tate's brush strokes. All of the instruments are well defined, another A plus effort from Rudy Van Gelder. Thanks to JoeyD for recommending this wonderful album!