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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Matador
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£14.98+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 May 2014
I was at a Roger Beaujolais gig when he played "Green Jeans" and recommended to the audience that Matador was one of Grant Green's top albums. So I ordered a copy from amazon the next day. That was two years ago, and Roger Beaujolais was absolutely right!

The line up is incredible. We have McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones (both feature on many Coltrane albums of the period) with Bob Cranshaw supporting Grant Green as leader on this recording date.
From what I read "Blue Note" would arrange line-ups for recording sessions; musicians that Alfred Lion put together just for a session who were not in the habit of working regularly together, or even at all. Furthermore these sessions were often "after work" i.e. In the middle of the night. And this formula has produced some amazing albums over the years.

This is likely to be one of those spontaneous sessions, but, boy, does it work. Tyner and Jones were a well honed partnership with very dominant personalities but they work together to support Grant Green who is on personal top form. There are five tunes, two by Green (Matador and Green Jeans), one by Duke Pearson (who worked for Blue Note as A & R man) and two popular show tunes, one being "My Favourite Things", which Tyner and Jones had recorded with their master to produce a "definitive" version. This version nearly matches Coltrane's in length, but Green takes a different approach to Coltrane. Debate which is the better!

For me this is a totally engrossing album and both Green and Tyner complement each other as outstanding soloists.

Although recorded in 1965 this gem wasn't released until 1990 in the USA (1979 in Japan). Allmusic awarded it a five star review; so do I.
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on 19 July 2017
Great album, Green with members of the then Coltrane Quartet. Green's reputations should be higher than it is, all the albums from the early/mid 60's are good.
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on 26 December 2015
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on 24 June 2013
Grant Green does not always place himself in the best context for his undoubted talents. In this instance he is inspired by men who propel him to realise his optimum performace. Always good to hear Elvin away from Trane during these years; he is soooh propulsive.
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on 15 September 2014
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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2008
Unsung Hero, January 1, 2008

I find Jazz, as a genre, difficult to review. I mean I know why I like a Jazz CD, but getting that over into the written word, especially as I am far from a Jazz critic per se, has proved difficult to me over the years. But I couldn't let the chance of not expressing my delight in this CD pass by, so please excuse my ignorant with regard jazz terms and icons. The first reason why I was drawn to Mr. Grant Green, is, after reading his bio, he seems a un heard of name. I mean I have heard of Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, and the like, but not Mr. Green. Upon discovering him, I choose this 1965 release to start my education. And what a education it is. As one of my fellow reviewers mentions else where it sounds like he is singing on his guitar playing. You can hear that most clearly on 'Matador'. I feel he was brave to want to venture onto a song that Mr. Coltrane had his own 'My favorite Things. I'll leave it up to you to decide if it holds it's own, but being a Jazz guitar lover, over the saxophone, I must say I prefer the version on offer here.
Things continue in the same vein with' Green Jeans', and 'Bedouin'. Words can't describe the beauty, at least not this reviewer, but trust me here's an artist in full control of his art. If that's not all, we also have the pleasure of the bonus cut 'Wives and Lovers'.
Mr. Green has remained in the shadows of the aforementioned jazz greats (especially Mr. Montgomery) and died in obscurity in 1979, at the age of 43, after battling a drug problem for many years, but left a body of work that all lovers of the jazz guitar should check out & see that he truly was the unsung hero of his generation. This is an excellent place to start. I doubt that you'll be disappointed
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on 16 September 2016
Recorded with 2/4ths of the Classic Coltrane Quartet (and the very same group behind Joe Henderson's classic BN disc 'Inner Urge' ) This is GG's finest BN moment that surpasses 'Idle Moments'. Alfred Lion saw Green is a commercial artist and kept it in the dust. Thus it laid dormat until its japenese release in 1979. This version of 'My Favorite Things' is even better than the one he did with Sonny Clark ( also for Blue Note ) a few years early. But the whole CD is outstanding. His BN best with 'Idle Moments and 'Born To Be Blue' not far behind.
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on 25 December 2013
how can an instrumental album be classed as "explicit" ???

I own this & there is not a single spoken word anywhere - it is 100% instrumental
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