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Passing Ships Limited Edition, Original recording remastered

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, October 7, 2003
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

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

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 2003)
  • limited_edition edition
  • 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: #145,205 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 8, 2003
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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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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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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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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