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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prickly quartet set by piano giant., 26 Aug 2004
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Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Fire (Audio CD)
This was pianist's first album for Blue Note and recorded prior to his more famous "Point of Departure" that is seen as his masterpiece recording. Andrew Hill is one of my favourite piano players and, in my opinion, this quartet session is superior to the aforementioned effort, even though it lacks the playing of Eric Dolphy and Kenny Dorham. This preference is easily explained by the fact that "Black Fire " contains some of his finest compositions that I was desperate to hear having struggled to learn these tunes that are transcribed within a music book dedicated, to the greats of bebop piano. The title track is a brisk ,wonky waltz, Henderson and Hill tumbling over each other amid the clatter of Hayne's drums. I particularly like the opening number , "Pumpkin", played at a fast tempo with it's awkward 5/4 bar thrown in at the end of the "A" section of the piece.
This music goes beyong Bebop and, as the liner notes point out, demonstrate Hill to be something more than "Monk with technique." Largely in a modal vein, this is spiky and edgy music, Hill's disonances complimented by Joe Henderson's chewy tone on tenor. Roy Haynes performs miracles on drums and Richard Davis delivers yet another stalwart effort on bass.
This is not an album for the casual fan, but serves as a good introduction to this most original of pianist / composers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andrew Hill's Debut!, 16 Nov 2005
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This review is from: Black Fire (Audio CD)
The excellent series of reissues from Andrew Hill’s 1960s Blue Note catalogue kicks off with “Black Fire” (1964) his first album. For anyone wanting to investigate Hill’s music this is the obvious place to start. It’s a totally assured debut & was programmed by Hill & Blue Note as a kind of opening statement of intent. Seven original compositions, all complex but with (after a few listens) surprisingly catchy tunes. The influence of Monk is much stronger here than on subsequent albums & Hill shares Monk’s dryly enigmatic sensibility.
The line up is Hill-piano, Joe Henderson-sax, Richard Davis-bass, Roy Haynes-drums. But this line up, like the music, is constantly changing, moving through quartet, trio and duo permutations. Henderson, Davis & Hill were frequent collaborators & knew this music inside out, but Haynes is also outstanding. This reissue includes two bonus alternate takes, plus both original & new liner notes.
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Black Fire
Black Fire by Andrew Hill (Audio CD - 1995)
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