"After his wildly prolific period in the early 60's, Green disappeared from the music scene for several years due to drug problems. When he re-emerged in the late 60's to early 70's it was with a completely different sound. Gone were the bop and the blues, in with the soul-jazz/funk. Green formed a tight, funky group for live appearances, including on this date Blue Note house drummer Idris Muhammad.
Recorded with the usual Blue Note perfection at the Cliche Lounge in Newark, NJ on August 15th 1970, this CD will make you feel like you're right there in the audience. You can actually hear the ice clinking in the drinks and the fans talking and shouting. Close your eyes and you're right there in a smoky early 70's jazz club listening to a true legend get down with his bad self! But ever the seasoned showman, Green knows enough to "bring the room down" for two slower songs, and two highlights of the album they are!
"Grant Green Alive" is far from Green's justly famous earlier works in the more traditional Blue Note style, but if you love soul-jazz/funk like this, it's a masterpiece. Fans of classic records like "Idle Moments" and "Grantstand" might want to consider these reviews before adding this one to your collection, as more traditional jazz fans might not dig it.
The best just got better!
brobee1 | USA | 12/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As many Grant Green fan will attest to, ALIVE is simply his best, funkiest, and overall most completely exciting recording in his amazing career. I dare anyone who listens to this cd to not come the inevitable conclusion that ALIVE stands as one of the most, if not the best, truly incredible live jazz recordings ever made. No jazz guitar player can ever touch Green's funk grooves and solos on this lp --- and with Idris Muhammed on drums, the set really has a funk foundation that never ceases to amaze me after listening to it over and ove again. The fact that the whole package has now been remastered and gratefully adds a new, unreleasd cut ("Maiden Voyage")is like walking down a mine shaft and having a new, shiny diamond fall into your lap --- I've been waiting for any extra songs from this night for 10 years - and now have one! If you are building your rare groove-jazz funk collection this cd will stand the test of time and become one of your most played and prized possessions...enjoy."
Green is beautiful...
Dr Roze | London, UK. | 05/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's not many CD's I'd give a 5-star review to but this is one of them! "Alive!" confirms Grant Green as the finest practitioner of that subgenre of "Jazz" known as jazz/funk, soul/jazz...whatever you care to name it! From the ballistic opener, "Let the Music Take Your Mind" (a storming version of a Kool & the Gang contemporary cut which has to be one of the funkiest things I've heard), the sheer energy and joyous funksomeness this set is addictive...you just keep on coming back for more!That's not to say there are not some more poignant and touching moments particularly a beautiful take of "Down Here On The Ground" where all the musicians groove in absolute harmony with real feeling. And the 3 bonus tracks are every bit as strong as the ones on the original LP release in 1970, if not stronger! So what are you waiting for? For jazz fans and funk fans alike as well as music lovers in general, this disc is a must and an essential addition to any record collection worth the name! PS. "Live at the Lighthouse" comes strongly recommended too!"
There Are Better...
M. Conklin | Illinois, USA | 07/21/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"grant green has a stellar discography, so it's rare when one of his releases misses a beat. alive! just doesn't have the typical quality of most of green's other releases though, and while it's not bad, this isn't one of green's sessions that needs to be searched out. recorded live in washington d.c. in late summer of 1970, green and his sextet focus on mostly modern to the day pop music covers. on many of the tracks, the group seems to have a hard time getting adjusted to each other. the music is sloppy. once they get it together though, and they always eventually do, the tunes catch a groove and you'll momentarily be reminded of how good green and his support could be. even still, the tunes are too long and you'll find yourself listening to the same riff over and over, in both the choruses and solos. what's more, the recording sound isn't up to snuff. at certain times, higher notes break away distorted and the guitar drowns out all of the other instruments, even when green is just backing up his musicians."
A period piece, but better than most.
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 07/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I look at the vinyl ephemera (much of it courtesy of CTI records) in my collection from the 1970s, this is one of the few albums that I don't have slotted for the Salvation Army box. The tunes have the repetitive, caught-in-a-rut modal-rhythmic characteristics of material from this period, yet the solo work along with chord voicings and minimal changes provide much of redeeming value. The groove is occasionally monotonous but frequently hypnotic and, unlike so much recorded material from the era--even with acoustic instruments and straightahead swinging sounds--the bass isn't overamplified to the point of drowning out, or at least upstaging, the rest of the musical action during the session. "Time to Remember" is a tune that got to me to the point that I wrote several other melodies based on its chord progression (the truth can finally be told).
Although most of the good music of the seventies is "countercultural"--i.e. reactionary mainstream recordings (by Oscar, Basie, Pass, Zoot) on Pablo or by Bill Evans on Fantasy or Blakey and the Jazz Messengers on just about any European label (no domestic label would record him) or Clifford Jordan's transcendent "Glass Bead Games," "Grant Green Alive," while certainly no "Glass Bead Games," is an album not only reflective of its times but fairly enjoyable listening even today.
Still, of all the Green albums I've listened to, there's one standout. As good as the guitarist is on Mobley's "Workout" or on his own "Idle Moments" (that title track!) and "Grant Stand" (with Yusef Lateef at his plain tenor-talkin' best), the real sleeper among his sides, imo, is "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Not just the music but Van Gelder's capturing of the trio's sound (Larry Young's has got to be the least wearing Hammond B3 on record) adds up to a minor masterpiece, and a neglected one even by Green supporters (it's barely mentioned in the recent bio of Green, and rather disparagingly at that)."