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Pax

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 6, 2006
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B000FILWDQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,285 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Ten years ago when I bought the Andrew Hill Mosaic set, the most pleasant surprise for me was a session from February 10, 1965, which had first been issued on vinyl in the mid 70s as part of the double album "One for One." This date contained some of the best music I had ever heard from Hill, and the fact that it featured a stellar band of Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Richard Davis and Joe Chambers, operating on a seemingly telepathic level, instantly made it one of my favorite Blue Note albums. Now it has been reissued as a single title in the Connoisseur series as "Pax."

Unfortunately, a truly original jazzman like Hill has always had a tough time cracking into the mainstream. Until recently many of his albums had not even been reissued on CD, but fortunately that has now started to change. In fact, with the reissue of multiple classic Blue Notes (see my reviews of "Black Fire," "Smoke Stack" and "Judgment!"), a brilliant new disc entitled "Time Lines," and Mosaic's recent 3CD "Select" title containing all of his Blue Note sessions from 1967-70, this is probably the best time ever to discover and collect the music of this jazz piano genius. And I can think of no better place to start than "Pax."
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
...but more on that in a bit. First this CD. The personnel is Joe Chambers on drums, Richard Davis on bass, Joe Henderson on tenor sax, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Andrew Hill on the piano. It was recorded in early 1965. The music was unreleased until it was released as part of a double LP in 1975, then in the limited edition Mosaic Box in the nineties. This is its first individual CD release.

Michael Richman is right. This is a classic. From the opening notes of Henderson's solo on Eris you know that. Henderson is magnificent- no other tenor sounds like he does. His tone is so dry and he does these funny whispy little runs if the upper registers of the horn. Hubbard is on fire- stabbing out ideas and in absolute control of his horn. This was such a productive period for him.

As for Hill, one of the things I really admire about him is the sense he gives me of being so balanced. All the elements of his playing are so measured. He loves dissonance yet is lyrical, he is obviously very thoughtful about what he writes but he always sounds passionate.

Richard Davis and Joe Chambers are the perfect foundation for this group. They are both very complete players- they don't just keep time. They illustrate. They suggest ideas. And that gets to something that was so wonderful about Blue Note at this time.

Blue Note seems to have been a musical collective for some of its artists. It allowed them to work out their ideas in the company of other very creative and thoughtful artists. In this sense, you can hear on the best Blue Notes, the artists actually learning from each other as they play.

On Andrew Hill dates, in the company of the likes of Henderson, Hubbard, Davis and Chambers, the results are music that is timeless.
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Format: Audio CD
Andrew Hill was, like Herbie Nichols, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, or Sonny Clark, an individualist, a follower of his own internal beat, and a rare example of humaness laid out for all to see. An individualist is someone most people want to be, and who most people pretend to admire, but ironically someone who many people despise in actual practice. As a composer and player Andrew Hill could draw violent, venom-spitting reactions by simply following this own way towards a melding of the avant-garde and jazz tradition through the prism of his particular and unique point of view. It seems he had the unfortunate ability to make people feel stupid. The personal vision he shared of one possible future for jazz is characterized by an open-ended, meandering quality, one full of jagged edges, improvisation without resolution, caked with self-conscious vunerability, yet structured in a way that isn't a break from the tradition of Monk or Parker. For me it's much more interesting than say the course that Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, or later-day Coltrane were following. In anycase the album "Pax" is typical of Hill's work in that it took a slow eternity to see the light of day, but fortunately Hill managed to avoid the common but twisted humor of fate, that ironic turn that only lavishes praise on an artist after he dies, by receiving some belated recognition with the release of this and other albums ("passing ships", "dance with death", and the new "timelines") a short time before his passing. On "Pax" Hill is teamed up with the creative, thoughtful, and frequent collaborator of Bobby Hutcherson: drummer Joe Chambers, as well as the bassist of choice for the borderline avant-garde: the always interesting Richard Davis.Read more ›
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By Core on March 18, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An unearthed gem. 1965. Freddie & JoeHen in top form, and the ever catalytic Joe Chambers on drums...
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Format: Audio CD
The release of Andrew Hill's PAX floored me for several reasons! The discovery of recent Blue Note Classic Masterpieces, even factoring in contemporary cyberspace, has been consistently timely in my realm's perspective. With the release of ANDREW!!!, it stood to reason that PAX would be the next logically conclusive successor, by virtue of their original recording dates; within months previous to the former ANDREW!!! CD/album/recording date. There IS in my factual argument and observation, a real sensibility-method to Blue Note releasing right now, at least where Andrew Hill's music is concerned. To track this method Blue Note artist or other artist system-wide would be a task. Certainly, the "slow-drip" method of releasing in recent years, and bundling or omission of certain key tunes on dates, etc. by Blue Note in recent years (referred to by other reviewers/listeners/collectors here), can get annoying. But looking at this situation contemporaneously, as a gestalt, including the original titling, jacket covers' art, etc., Blue Note, Impulse, et al tend to replicate and reproduce by facsimile, the way it would have been had these masterworks been released consistently over time IN their time. WIth the recent wave of "retromania" around these days, this can be a welcome relief to those stalwart, faithful, veteran collectors who may have had all (or most) of these dates on vinyl during their original release years, or subsequent issuances. As well, those new to the game or who have missed holes in their collections will find the experience nearly ideal acompli. This is a masterfuly silent, tacit nod to the Golden glory years of Blue Note, Jazz, and Jazz collecting in general.Read more ›
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