Michael Fremer Rated 8/11 Music, 10/11 Sonics!
Grant Green was Feelin' The Spirit on this deeply soulful 1962 date that is a sibling of sorts to the great guitarist's sanctified 1961 album Sunday Mornin'. Feelin' The Spirit, which was the 13th album the remarkably prolific artist recorded during his first two years on the label, found Green interpreting a set of five African-American spirituals - "Just A Closer Walk With Thee," "Joshua Fit De Battle Ob Jericho," "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen," "Go Down Moses," and "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child." Joining him was a state-of-the-art modern jazz lineup featuring Herbie Hancock on piano, Butch Warren on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums, with Garvin Masseaux on tambourine. In the original liner notes, writer Joe Goldberg notes that Green approaches these songs "with affection, but as music to be played in his style. The result is a fascinating combination: the techniques of modern jazz, blues, and gospel, all applied to the spiritual."
The Blue Note Tone Poet Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was' admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. Was brought Joe Harley (from Music Matters), a.k.a. the "Tone Poet," on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels.
Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the jacket graphics and printing quality to superior LP mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180g audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Tone Poet releases is done to the highest possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. This is IT.
This stereo Tone Poet Vinyl Edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Technology Inc. (RTI), and packaged in a deluxe gatefold tip-on jacket.
Green's light touch and clear tone match very well with the reverent material, and pianist Herbie Hancock is tremendous in support, serving the needs of the music and nailing the bright gospel style perfectly. Similarly, Green's playing never gets too complicated or loses sight of the melodies, yet he never runs short of ideas - which goes to show that Feelin' the Spirit is indeed a labor of love....Green, Hancock, bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Billy Higgins keep the grooves flowing throughout, making Feelin' the Spirit a rousingly successful experiment.
...pay attention on 'Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen' to the call and response between Green and the then 23 year old Herbie Hancock. It's special bordering on amazing... If you're looking for a great sounding Blue Note and great sounding Grant Green record, this one's both.
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series
- Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Mastered from Original Analog Tapes
- Produced by Joe Harley
- Pressed at RTI
- Deluxe Gatefold Tip-On Jacket
- Just A Closer Walk With Thee
- Joshua Fit De Battle Ob Jericho
- Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
- Go Down Moses
- Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child