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!
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.
Previously unreleased recordings of guitarist Grant Green taped in December 1959 and February 1960 at the Holy Barbarian coffee house in St. Louis. Features saxophonist Bob Graf, organist Sam Lazar and drummer Chauncer Williams.
As a trio, this edition of guitarist Grant Green's many ensembles has to rank with the best he had ever fronted. Recorded on April Fool's Day of 1961, the band and music are no joke, as bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Dave Bailey understand in the most innate sense how to support Green, lay back when needed, or strut their own stuff when called upon. Still emerging as an individualist, Green takes further steps ahead, without a pianist, saxophonist, or – most importantly – an organist. His willpower drives this music forward in a refined approach that definitely marks him as a distinctive, immediately recognizable player.
Nancy Wilson's not the first name in bluesy jazz (check out Dinah Washington and Joe Williams for that), but she usually can enliven the form with her sophisticated and sultry style. That's made clear on her rendition of "Stormy Monday Blues," where she eschews blues clichés in favor of a husky airiness, at once referencing a lowdown mood and infusing it with a sense of buoyancy. This split is nicely essayed on Capitol's Blues and Jazz Sessions, as half the tracks ooze with Wilson's cocktail blues tone and the other find the jazz-pop chanteuse in a summery and swinging mood. Ranging from the big band blues of "I've Got Your Number" to the lilting bossa nova "Wave," Wilson handles all the varying dynamics and musical settings with aplomb. Featuring cuts from her '60s prime with the likes of Cannonball Adderley, Oliver Nelson, George Shearing, Gerald Wilson, and a host of top sidemen, this best-of disc offers a fine, off-the-beaten-path overview of Wilson's Capitol heyday.