Thursday, September 22, 2005

Grant Green - Sunday Mornin'

This was one of a slew of albums that guitarist Grant Green put out during his first tenure with Blue Note Records. Blue Note put Green in a variety of situations, and one of the most successful was setting up a gospel groove. Here he's joined by Kenny Drew on piano, Ben Tucker on bass and Ben Dixon on drums. The album begins with "Freedom March" influenced by the civil rights movement. This is a mellow, Green centered song with the bass and drums keeping a tight groove and making way for a swinging piano solo. The title track really kicks the gospel groove in with Green playing in a bright, uptempo manner, and Kenny Drew bringing the churchy funk an accompaniment.

"Exodus" takes the theme that Eddie Harris made very popular and gives it a mellow and haunting reading. Tucker takes an interesting bass solo at the mid-point. "God Bless the Child" is another familiar melody, this time taken at a ballad tempo. The group plays this with a great deal of sensitivity, and Drew plays a wonderful solo. Miles Davis' "So What" brings the tempo back up with some staccato comping from both Drew and Green and the leader also takes an excellent solo backed by walking bass.

"Tracin' Tracy" was left off of he original album due to time constraints but is included here as a bonus track. Another mid-tempo groover, Green and Dixon trade fours near the end of the song before coming back to the melody. This isn't the most exciting album Grant Green ever made, but the playing is impeccable as always and if you are looking for a disc to just relax with, you could do a lot worse. Recommended.

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