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Passing Ships [Limited Edition, Original recording remastered]

Andrew HillAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1969
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B0000CDL61
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,938 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sideways
2. Passing Ships
3. Plantation Bag
4. Noon Tide
5. The Brown Queen
6. Cascade
7. Yesterday's Tomorrow

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing October 8, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
According to the liner notes written in 2003, Andrew Hill recorded a number of sessions for Blue Note which never went to press, so to speak, due to questionable sound recording quality. In the case of "Passing Ships" - which sat undisturbed in Blue Note's vault since it was recorded in 1969 - a second stereo tape was discovered in which the sound quality was preserved. Thankfully, Blue Note decided to bring this recording to disc after all these years. The compositions on this recording are what one would expect from Hill: colorful orchestration, ingenious use of poly-rhythms, and an almost dialectical development of ideas underneath solos. The players assembled here - Joe Farrell, Woody Shaw, Dizzy Reece, Julian Priester, Bob Northern, Howard Johnson, Ron Carter, and Lenny White - provide excellent work, turning out some ferocious solos in many places that surprise the ear. The recording is excellent and sounds as if it could have been recorded yesterday. Hill's solos do not disappoint either, as "horizontal" and percussive as they have been in other Blue Note dates. It is interesting to listen to this music which is over 30 years old and compare it with similar ventures from the likes of Rodney Kendrick, Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, or, in some ways, Dave Holland. While some of these ventures have been successful in their own right, it is amazing how far ahead of the curve Hill was and the extent to which his writing 30 years ago supersedes that of those writing today, particularly Mr. Marsalis, who would be wise to revisit this music. Having said as much, there is continuity here too, as one can hear the echo of Mingus inplaces. All in all, this is an amazing recording.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork of American music December 18, 2003
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
From the opening notes of Mr Farrell's robust tenor solo after the chorus of horns, interjections by trombone, and tuba, all backed by the groove of Lenny White, then a sterling quirky but swinging solo by leader, composer of all originals, and piano, on Track One we KNOW we are in good company. What resonates a little longer are the bass lines. We relisten to track one and envelop ourselves in the wonder of Mr Carter who must have have been at the height of his considerable powers at this time. Absolutely stunning bass playing. PASSING SHIPS the second track has echoes of works by Mr Hancock - such as Canteloupe Island - in terms of the rhythmic figures and features some wonderful solo work from Mr Shaw. But enough. Those who have any of Mr Hills' works can rest assured that this CD is up there with his very best from one of his most creative, productive and under-appreciated periods featuring 7 original compositions given life by some masters of their respective instruments - especially noting Mr Woody Shaw, Mr Julian Priester, Mr Howard Johnson and Mr Ron Carter. But I have to say I cannot recall a stronger program of playing by Mr Joe Farrell on soprano sax, tenor, alto flute, bass clarinet and English Horn whose efforts among other things add amazing colour to the compositions. This is music "as serious as your life", which will reveal its considerable pleasures for a long time to come. Although I have no qualifications for saying so, I consider this a masterwork of American music, regardless of genre.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By x
Format:Audio CD
Andrew Hill's "Passing Ships" is a remarkable recording. It is hard to believe that such provocative, engaging music took so long to release. It is a glimpse into Hill's large ensemble pieces performed by a great group of musicians: Woody Shaw (tp), Dizzy Reece (tp), Julian Priester (tb), Howard Johnson (tu, bcl), Ron Carter (b), Bob Northern (French horn), Joe Farrell (sax, fl, cl), Andrew Hill (p), and Lenny White (d).
If you are a fan of progressive jazz, or generally enjoy Hill's thoughtful, well-crafted, occasionally angular compositions, this recording is one that will likely be hard to get out of your CD player. The disc opens with "Sideways" which swings like mad, with interesting cross-currents and fantastic solos by Farrell, Hill, and either Reece or Shaw (I'm not sure). The combination of Priester's trombone and Johnson's tuba are beautiful additions to the ensemble. The second track, "Passing Ships," is a slower, intricate piece that features White's skillful touches on the cymbals. There is also a nice solo by Priester. It is nice to see the trombone get a chance to share the spotlight, and Priester's playing is magnificent. "Plantation Bag" is a medium tempo, angular composition that is incredibly tight and features a great solo by Farrell. The players' execution of the piece is flawless and enthralling. The rest of the pieces on the disc are unquestionably of the same high standard in terms performance and composition.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mystery and A Revelation! November 8, 2003
Format:Audio CD
The mystery is: why did Blue Note sit on this outstanding date for over 30 years? According to Michael Cuscuna's liner notes, the sessions were held back due to Andrew Hill's dissatisfaction with them. This is completely confounding because to my ears, this recording easily ranks up there with his greatest Blue Note sessions. The most obvious comparison would be with "Point of Departure," due to the strong front line of horns here (Woody Shaw, Dizzy Reece, Howard Johnson, Julian Priester, Joe Farrell, and Bob Northern). Overall, Hill's writing is superb here, full of the quirky harmonic, rhythmic, and formal twists and turns of his greatest work. The rhythm section of Hill, Ron Carter and Lenny White is also in top form. The recording is a revelation, another piece of the puzzle that is the brilliant 1960s work of Andrew Hill. If there are any rough spots, they are virtually unnoticeable, and I would recommend "Passing Ships" without hesitation, for any fan of Hill's music.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great find
Andrew Hill is an underrated piano player and composer. When I first heard this CD I knew I had to have it to add to my
collection. You won't be disappointed.
Published 9 months ago by Norman E Coleman
5.0 out of 5 stars Hill's only big band release yields fruit
I remember on the NPR "Fresh Air" that this recording was in the vaults and that Michael Cuscuna had asked Hill about it and he stated that there were problems in the processing of... Read more
Published on June 25, 2012 by Dennis W. Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars Great jazz record
While many jazz purists and historians overlook this disc when considering Hill's legacy, i would advise that you do not make the same mistake. Read more
Published on December 19, 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars All Aboard
This is indeed a hidden jewel among Blue Note's massive catacombs. Andrew Hill recorded prolifically for the label in the late 60's, each project ambitious in its own right. Read more
Published on May 18, 2008 by trumpet mercenary
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Gem
I'm not sure how this session, recorded in 1969, was not released until recently. I can see only two possibilties. Read more
Published on May 14, 2008 by Ryan Wepler
5.0 out of 5 stars what
this is some of the freshest stuff ive ever heard

i like that song sideways and the last track too
Published on January 9, 2007 by Neal A. Mehta
5.0 out of 5 stars What Was Blue Note Thinking?
This album may not be cut from the same jazz-funk cloth that Blue Note was stretching to the breaking point in the late '60's, but how they could have considered this unfit for... Read more
Published on November 2, 2005 by Eric M. Asetta
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad somebody found this record
Recorded in 1969 and hidden in the Blue Note vaults for 34 years Hill's nonet album features the likes of Joe Farrell, Woody Shaw, Ron Carter and Lenny White. Read more
Published on January 31, 2004 by "jerryexspresso"
4.0 out of 5 stars Andrew Hill
This is a good record. However, Wynton Marsalis' "All Rise" is the greatest piece ever.
Published on December 16, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top CDs of the year
Predating Hill's big band recording, Beautiful Day, by more than 30 years, Passing Ships explores similar musical territory, but is much more accessible to the average jazz... Read more
Published on December 1, 2003 by Gordon Todd
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