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Point Of Departure [LP]
Vinyl | LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Point Of Departure (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
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A Blue Note essential, Point of Departure is part of the Blue Note 75 anniversary vinyl reissue campaign, featuring 100 titles. Recorded and originally released in 1964 this is jazz pianist, Andrew Hill's fifth album. Key to the initiative is high quality audio at affordable prices. Also available this month on LP: Jackie McLean's Capuchin Swing, Joe Henderson's Page One, Miles Davis' Volume 1 and Tina Brooks' True Blue.
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Top customer reviews
Make no mistake, there is plenty of "difficult" music on this album. Hill's compositions manage to fit knife-sharp harmonies, lurching, awkward choruses, and daring chord progressions into conventional jazz structures. His band rises to the challenge with some virtuosic solo work.
Unfortunately, there are some issues that should be addressed. The band's interpretations of Hill's charts often lack musicality. The album's mix falls victim to substandard recording quality and a haphazard mastering job. The knotty rhythms and thorny harmonies are radical and inventive, but too often, they lack conviction and purpose - a problem which the avant-garde has always struggled with. Many radical artists hide insecurity behind polemical rhetoric, sneering at the mainstream to compensate for their own lack of inspiration.
Though I do believe Hill makes some important discoveries here, this is a very serious, stony-faced, methodical album, without an ounce of fun to temper its academic inflection. Point of Departure is an exercise in excess - proof that shocking, far-out music can become boring very quickly if presented without incentive to keep listening.
If you already know about Andrew Hill but not this particular CD, I've said too much. 'Cause you can easily guess what's in front of you: Dorham, Dolphy, Henderson, Davis, Williams in 1964 ... are you kidding me?!! (Check it out.)
Give it a try, once you "get" Andrew Hill's idiom you got some glorious music in your life.
All of the musicians on this CD are capable of creative and original jazz. From the more "traditional" Durham to the always modern Dolphy, they are all willing to experiment and create.
Andrew Hill is a musician who is never willing to "go through the motions" of playing jazz. Joe Henderson alwyas sounds like himself, and Tony Williams...
This CD is true to its name. It is not a complete departure from tradition, and it is never content with staying inside the tradition. It is always on the point of departure from tradition, on the verge of new discoveries, new possibilites. These possibilities concern different "Song Structures", different modes and chord changes, different voicings of the instruments - all different yet connected to what existed before them.
It is a pity that 38 years after this music was recorded - it is still regarded as "inaccessible" by most people, and even within those who do listen to jazz, already a minority, there are many who have not opened their ears to what was new in 1964. What does it take to change that ?
Anyway, I recommend this cd...