March's Down Beat
has a neat feature where they ask jazz musicians to pick their favorite Blue Note album. Here's Jason Moran:
Bobby Hutcherson's Dialogue
lumped together all these crazy people--Bobby, Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers, Joe Chambers, Richard Davis and Freddie Hubbard. The compositions on there were by Andrew and Joe, not Bobby, and they show the gamut of where music was at at that point--some free stuff, and the first song, 'Catta,' has a Latin feel. The playing is phenomenal. It's a well-rounded cast and a well-rounded record. These musicians represent a thread of how Blue Note functioned, with which I hope I'll be associated in the long term. It's like a football team, and Andrew, Sam, Bobby and Freddie represent the offensive line, who push the defense back further and further, while other people catch touchdowns and get the hoo-rah.
I love The Real McCoy
, but the music on this and on Contours
, the Sam Rivers record, is biting in a way that The Real McCoy
is not, in how they approach the use of dissonance and melody. A lot of my ideas about a format or a sound to play free come from Dialogue
. How Joe Chambers plays this march drum sound in the middle of the space. It's so mystifying. It's a record you can't grasp. Often black artists who choose abstraction are considered a sellout to their race because they aren't doing anything representative of African or African-American culture. I don't know whether they thought about taking a chance. They were just doing it because it's what was ready to be done.Unrelatedly, I'm on Facebook now. Look me up, if that's your thing.