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Music Matters / Blue Note

Kenny Drew ‎– Undercurrent | Music Matters Reissue

$90.00

Music Matters / Blue Note

Kenny Drew ‎– Undercurrent | Music Matters Reissue

$90.00

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Kenny Drew was an unsung master of bebop. A brilliant pianist who started with the example of Bud Powell and then developed his own sound within the style, in the '50s Drew worked with some of the most important innovators of all time including Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Buddy DeFranco, Dinah Washington and Art Blakey. By 1960 when he recorded Undercurrent, Drew had already led ten albums of his own, mostly with duos and trios.

Oddly enough he only had the opportunity to lead two albums in his life for Blue Note, an early effort from 1953 and the classic Undercurrent. Joined in a quintet by the young firebrand trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, the always-stimulating tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes, the 32-year old pianist shows that he was ready to truly make his mark on the jazz world.

All six compositions are his, and in his accompaniment of the passionate horn men and also in his soulful solos, Drew shows that he was one of the major hard bop stylists. This high energy album, which finds Hubbard, Mobley and Drew consistently inspiring each other to come up with heated statements, has many of the pianist’s finest compositions including the roaring “Undercurrent,” the bluesy “Funk-Cosity,” the gospellish “The Pot’s On,” the well titled “Groovin’ The Blues” and the beautiful “Ballade.” Kenny Drew, who would move permanently to Europe in 1964 and would not lead another album until 1973, is heard throughout at the peak of his powers, creating his finest recording.

Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is mastered from the original analog tape and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside. – Press Release

“The only Blue Note recording under pianist Kenny Drew's leadership and the last to be released under his name for a thirteen-year period, during which time the pianist would relocate to Europe, Undercurrent is a strong outing by the gifted pianist, composer and session leader. In the latter capacity, his job is greatly facilitated by a frontline of saxophonist Hank Mobley and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, whose instant compatibility had been established just weeks earlier on Mobley's sterling Roll Call (Blue Note, 1960)… Certainly among the highlights is the opening title tune, set up by an electrifying 38-second introduction: drums and bass walk off eight bars at a flaming tempo, Drew adds a running baroque figure for the next eight, tenor and trumpet harmonize in thirds for the next sixteen then play in unison over a pedal tone for eight more, finally re-harmonizing in thirds for the last eight before Mobley's tenor is suddenly ejected into the jet stream for the first solo. The latter player is simply wondrous on this and each of his solo turns, as consistently rewarding as he is risk-taking, and clearly in command during the same year that produced his masterpiece, Soul Station (Blue Note, 1960). Hubbard, the comparative newcomer, isn't as fluent as Mobley but complements his frontline companion with a more aggressive, even puckish approach, alternating between repeated percussive motifs and a soaring, passionate lyricism.” – All About Jazz

Item description:

Artist:

Kenny Drew ‎

Title:

Undercurrent

Label:

Music Matters Ltd. | Blue Note

Format:

Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo, 180 gram

Pressing:

US

Release Date:

This reissue: 2014 | Original – 1961

Genre:

Jazz

Style:

Hard Bop

Catalog No:

MMBST33-84059

Condition:

New