The third of three sessions Grant Green co-led with modal organist Larry Young and Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones, I Want to Hold Your Hand continues in the soft, easy style of its predecessor, Street of Dreams. This time, however — as one might guess from the title and cover photo — the flavor is less reflective and more romantic and outwardly engaging. Part of the reason is tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, who takes Bobby Hutcherson’s place accompanying the core trio…
On the heels of Matador and Solid, two of his most advanced albums, Grant Green decided to continue the more modal direction he'd begun pursuing with the help of members of Coltrane's quartet. Accordingly, he hooked up with organist Larry Young, who was just beginning to come into his own as the first Hammond B-3 player to incorporate Coltrane's modal innovations into his own style. Talkin' About is the first of three albums the Green/Young team recorded together with Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones, and it's exceptional, one of the most underrated items in Green's discography.
This release presnts all of Grant Green and Baby Face Willette's collaborative albums as leaders. Recorded in 1961-62, they consist of the LP "Grant's First Stand" (Blue Note BST-84064), issued under the guitarist's name, and “Baby Face” Willette's albums "Face to Face" (Blue Note BST-84068) and "Stop and Listen" (Blue Note BST-84084). Other than their three LPs as leaders, Green and Willette only recorded together on Lou Donaldson's album Here ‘Tis, from which it has been added the title song, a long blues, as a bonus.
Grant Green's star rose after his signing to Blue Note in 1960, though he appeared as a sideman on several releases during the 1950s. These previously unissued live recordings, made in 1959 and 1960 at the Holy Barbarian Coffee House in St. Louis, document some of his earliest work. Although the music wasn't taped professionally, the sound is quite good, with several extended performances. The St. Louis native is joined by tenor saxophonist Bob Graf (a former Woody Herman sideman who had returned to his hometown), the somewhat obscure organist Sam Lazar, and drummer Chauncey Williams, though none of the three have very large discographies.
This great Jazz two-fer features two of guitarist Grant Green's '60s work trio and quartet featuring incredible organ work from Sam Lazar and Big John Patton. This release contains the complete albums Space Flight (1960) and Iron City (1967). The question "When is a Grant Green album not a Grant Green album?" is answered by this release, with the reply, when "It's actually Grant Green as a sidesman on two album released by other artists". In this case "Space Flight" released as an album credited to Sam Lazar, and secondly one recorded as "Iron City" by Big John Patton. "Space Flight" is the quartet album which also has Willie Dixon on bass and Chauncey Williams on drums. The album doesn't give very much prominence to Green, though he does make some telling additions to several of the tracks. About Lazar I know practically nothing other than that I ordered an album I thought Argo were going to release way back when (probably 1961),which never arrived, and this one was recorded in June 1960. The release shows no sign of remastering, but as I'd never heard it before that's a guess!
A wicked late Blue Note album from Grant Green – quite different than his smaller combo work from the early years, and done with some great larger arrangements that feature some ultra-hip vibes from the legendary Billy Wooten! Wooten's as great here as on his famous work with the Ninteenth Whole, and his vibes bring a nice edge to the record – ringing out in bold chromatic tones behind Green's guitar – amidst some warm electric backings that feature keyboards from Emmanuel Riggins, drums from Idris Muhammad, and congas from Ray Armando.
A beautiful stripped-down session that was recorded in the mid 60s, but not issued until the end of the decade, for some strange reason! Grant Green plays guitar in a laidback quartet with Herbie Hancock on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – all working wonderfully together, in long spiralling lines that are filled with soul and a gentle, easy groove. The set is an odd mix of compositions with a "western" theme – like "I Can't Stop Loving You", "Wagon Wheels", and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" – but the players more than manage to make the session swing way past the origins of the material! Very tough to find, but an essential addition to any Grant Green collection!
Simply put, this is a very decent four-disc collection of the work of guitarist Grant Green. It features tracks from his many albums as a leader and some as a sideman with others, such as Lee Morgan, John Patton, Baby Face Willette, and Sonny Clark. His early-'60s sides are here along with most of his defining cuts from the '60s, from hard bop to soul-jazz to ballads to gospel – everything most fans would ever want is here, including his late blues sides recorded in the bars of Detroit in 1970. While Green's own albums can never be replaced, this is a solid portrait of one of the most influential jazz guitarists in history.