A striking little set from vibesman Freddie McCoy – not just for the cool superhero image on the front cover, but also for the tight grooves underneath! The album's one of McCoy's most unified for Prestige – as all tracks feature a core quartet with Freddie on vibes, Charlie Wilson on piano, Steve Davis on bass, and Rudy Lawless on drums – not your usual Prestige players, and all musicians who really make the album sparkle! There's a bold soul jazz vibe running through the set – similar to some of Freddie's other work, but a bit more open too – and titles include a groovy take on "Girl From Ipanema", plus the soul jazz classics "Speak Out, Deagan!" and "Hav' Mercy" – as well as the cuts "Yesterdays" and "Spider Man".
Freddie Hubbard's first recording as a leader, Open Sesame features the 22-year-old trumpeter in a quintet with tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks, the up-and-coming pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Clifford Jarvis. This set shows that even at this early stage, Hubbard had the potential to be one of the greats. On the ballad "But Beautiful" he shows maturity; other highlights include "Open Sesame," a driving "All or Nothing at All" and "One Mint Julep." It's an impressive start to what would be a very interesting career.
Of pianist McCoy Tyner's seven Blue Note albums of the 1967-1970 period, Expansions is the most definitive. Tyner's group (comprised of trumpeter Woody Shaw, altoist Gary Bartz, tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter on cello, bassist Herbie Lewis, and drummer Freddie Waits) is particularly strong, the compositions (four Tyner originals plus Calvin Massey's "I Thought I'd Let You Know") are challenging, and the musicians seem quite inspired by each other's presence. The stimulating music falls between advanced hard bop and the avant-garde, pushing and pulling at the boundaries of modern mainstream jazz.
Pianist Freddie Redd has not recorded all that much during his 45-year career, but most of his records have been special events. This particular set has eight of Redd's tightly arranged compositions being performed by a fine sextet that also features tenor-saxophonist Teddy Edwards, altoist Curtis Peagler and trombonist Phil Ranelin.
Features the latest 24 bit remastering. Housed in one of Blue Note house graphic designer Reid Miles' most delightful covers – a powder-blue image featuring a nattily-dressed Freddie Roach receiving a heaping helping of the soul food in question – the outstanding Mo' Greens Please serves as a stepping stone between the more studied soul-jazz of the organist's label debut Down to Earth and the looser, deeper grooves of the following Good Move!