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LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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A Blue Note essential, Conquistador! is part of the Blue Note 75 anniversary vinyl reissue campaign, featuring 100 titles and key to the initiative is high quality audio at affordable prices. Blue Note launched a partnership with indie record stores called Blue Note Authorized Dealers which supports the Blue Note LP reissues. Also available this month on LP: Herbie Hancock's The Prisoner, Horace Silver Quintet's The Cape Verdean Blues, Joe Henderson's State Of The Tenor, Live At The Village Vanguard Vol. 1 and McCoy Tyner's Time For Tyner.
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The title track had me wondering--why did he pick that title? So I sort of listened with a 1492 backdrop. And I could actually see certain scenes--the conquistadors rowing up to shore and striding across the beach, a battle scene, a lenthy pursuit through the jungle, the eerie quiet of the devastation of some Indian city--while listening to the different parts of the music. I'm not usually trippy that way, but there you go. It was quite enjoyable.
Back on earth, I should mention that the music is free, but not totally out there. There are recurring motifs and certain areas where they get a sort of Latin rhythmic thing going on. The horns drop out quite a bit and leave Cecil--who has a very high-pitched clattering raindrop thing going on a lot--with the rhythm section. The drummer, Cyrille Taylor, is fantastic. The bassist, Henry Grimes, rarely plays conventionally, but usually bows his bass in this really high-pitched whirring way, sort of like an oscillator or a flanger. It started to bug me a bit. I'm not sure if with repeated listenings it will bug me more or less. After about 17 minutes, I started to think that the song had better wind down pretty darn soon, and bizarrely it did, two seconds later! So I guess it's just about the right length for me.
Track two was also good, but I didn't wander the mind gardens nearly as much.
Anyway, there is a lot of contrast on this album and it's really good if you like out there stuff. Check it out!