Sunday, July 18, 2004

Andrew Hill - Black Fire (Blue Note 1963, 2004)
 
Black Fire was Andrew Hill's first Blue Note album, the first of many albums of innovative compositions and piano that he would produce for that label in the 1960's. Joining him on this disc are Richard Davis on bass, Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone and Roy Haynes on drums.
 
Hill's prickly compositions dominate this disc, and his approach to both composition and piano playing has often been compared to Thelonious Monk, but even at this early stage in his career Hill is truly his own man. All of the musicians seem comfortable with his songs which are not quite as difficult and dissonant as some of his later work, but still are a far cry from what the usual Blue Note listener would expect and paved the way for that label's brief flirtation with the avant-garde as they released recrds by Hill, Sam Rivers, Eric Dolphy and a few others.
 
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