Grant Green was a Blue Note mainstay and is a jazz icon. He has played on hundreds of recordings and released over 30 albums. Sunday Mornin' was his fourth record and first with a pianist, Kenny Drew. About 3 minutes in on side one Drew makes his presence known and he keeps getting further and further out... the rhythm section of bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Ben Dixon "hold it down" throughout with transcending solos and Grant's playing is just mind blowing. Legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder is like a 5th member of the session capturing the instruments, the air, the vibe of the studio, the stereo soundstage (unusual in those days) just perfectly.
Upon hearing the Sunday Mornin' analog tapes used for cutting this release, mastering engineer Kevin Gray gleefully proclaimed, "Rudy's sound doesn't get any better than this, it really doesn't!". He would know, Kevin has cut more Blue note lacquers than anybody in the world.
Grant was seemingly always ahead. He composed the lead off song, "Freedom March" in 1961... 2+ years before what most consider the start of the modern day Civil Rights Movement. Jazz musicians, certainly not Grant Green, seldom receive the credit they deserved for their profound impact on the Civil Rights movement. Another Green original, the title cut, "Sunday Mornin'" is influenced by gospels but in a more spiritual, positive, happy way. Same goes for the cover of "God Bless The Child"...aching and beautiful.
The record closes with a cover of the Miles Davis standard, "So What"... at the time barely a year old but Grant's intuition told him the tune would become a vital piece of jazz history.
Originally recorded in 1961 and released in 1962, Slow Down Sounds is proud to present this Authentic Analog Audiophile reissue pressing.
What makes this record particularly special is the sound. Firstly, Kenny Drew's piano is easily among the best sounding Van Gelder has ever recorded, which Kevin Gray surmises in one of the video interviews you can find on the label's website or perhaps on YouTube was the result of Ben Dixon's light drum touch that didn't require Rudy to physically pad down the piano with the mikes tucked inside. So the piano has a refreshingly light and open sound though with plenty of body. Drew moved to Denmark shortly after recording this set. Of course he famously played on Coltrane's Blue Train and on Kenny Dorham's Whistle Stop. So yes, even if you have a wall of Blue Notes, few manage to sound quite this uniformly precise and natural. Was it just a great recording day for Rudy? Or did the fact that Biery packed up the lacquers and immediately drove from the Valley to Camarillo to have them plated at RTI? No doubt the quicker the plating the better, but I'm betting most of the fabulous sound is due to a good Rudy date combined with light touch playing all around. A great sounding (demo quality) and musically pleasurable Blue Note session that's easy to recommend. Underrated and under appreciated, Green, who passed away in 1979 at age 43, never attained Wes Montgomery's level of popularity though he should have. It's never too late!
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Authentic Analog Audiophile Reissue
- Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder
- First reissue in 50 years
- Dead quiet pressing
- Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Mastered from the original stereo analog tapes
- Plated & pressed at Record Technology, Inc.
- Stoughton Printing 'old style' tip-on jacket
- Reissue supervised by Grover
- Freedom March
- Sunday Mornin'
- God Bless The Child
- Come Sunrise
- So What