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Hip Walk - Jazz Undercurrents In 60s New York by Various Artists

There is a lot of talk these days about experimental music. But despitementioning the more obvious names, such as John Coltrane or Sun Ra, there isa basic lack of understanding that jazz from Armstrong to Osby isseat-of-the-pants experimental music, a white-knuckle ride of expressionismfor musician and audience alike. Hurray for Dean Rudland, compiler andlinernoteswriter extraordinaire! Even though all tracks are groovy and quitea few tracks are truly danceable, this is a must for any lover of jazz, notjust the collector of dancefloor jazz. "Hip Walk" is a fantastic compilationand also serves well as an alternative introduction to the essentials ofjazz via the back door, rather than via those eternal Blue Note / Columbia /Verve samplers.

"Jazz split into many different directions (free, soul, straight ahead)whose champions often seemed to be waging war in the pages of Downbeat, butwhose musicians would often come together at jamming sessions. These tunesare the sounds of a city's musicians trying to balance the need to earn adollar with their desire to be heard on the feeling of the day." (Rudland,again from his liner notes). And so we get the classic clubjazz groove of"Nuther'n like thuther'n" by Willis Jackson (yès! it's the full lengthversion of this brilliant take on "Jive samba") alongside the more lofty"Love theme from Spartacus" by Yusef Lateef, and the souljazz of "Cantaloupewoman" by George Braith next to the rather serious tribute to Coltrane"Brother John" by Cannonball Adderley & Yusef Lateef. Other highlights on"Hip Walk" include "Ping pong" by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (a differentversion from the one on Blue Note), "Muscle soul" by Phil Upchurch(spectacular guitar jazz which unfortunately lasts only a mere 2'41" - thetimings printed on the sleeve are all wrong), "The soulful drums" by JoeDukes (nothing short of spectacular) and both "The village caller" (aclassic tune with succulent organ and vibraphone parts) and "Selim" (afloorfiller high on uptempo vibes) by the legendary Johnny Lytle. And everyother track, really. Go enjoy!

Review first published 2002-05-22 in [uzine 02.12], cf.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various Artists
  • CD Title: Hip Walk - Jazz Undercurrents In 60s New York
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: BGP (Ace), UK
  • Rating: Four Stars
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