Quincy Jones-Walking in Space
The Ramsey Lewis Trio-Another Voyage
Miles Davis-My Funny Valentine
Freddie Hubbard-Red Clay
I had a really good day of digging today in some of my local shops. These five all came from We Buy Music. This store was originally going out of business starting last spring, but then ended up moving his store across town because he needed to get rid of more of his records. The owner had a pretty decent sale going on for about the last six months, but now its ended, so it seems he is no longer retiring. I'll have to ask him about it next time I visit. But, lucky me, he said since I'm a regular he'll stick hook me up with the discount, I just have to wink and nod and say obscure things to him if there are other customers in the store until he remembers to give me the discount. Should be interesting... although there are hardly ever any customers in the shop, I can't wait to ask him about that one thing he talked about that one time he did this other thing, and so on...
Anyway, the real gem of this bunch is Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay. I had never heard any of these records before I picked them up, which is always somewhat exciting and nerve wracking. There is nothing worse than picking up five records that are all terrible. Red Clay is from 1970 and features most of Miles Davis' sidemen. It is a somewhat unique bridge between the hardbop of Davis' earlier quintets and the fusion of the late 60s and early 70s. While most of the tracks are in the hardbop vein, Herbie is playing electric piano on most tracks and there is the occasional funk and rock beat. I haven't been blown away like this in a while by a random find. I would definitely put this up there with other classics like Coltrane's Giant Steps, Rollins' Saxaphone Colossus or Davis' Round About Midnight.
The Quincy Jones and Ramsey Lewis discs (along with the Miles Davis disc) were all dollar bin finds, and are pretty amazing themselves. I was completely unfamiliar with any other works by these artists, but I picked up the Jones disc based on the presence of Roland Kirk and Freddie Hubbard, and the Lewis disc had some electric piano. I am currently a sucker for anything with electric piano right now, and the Lewis disc does not disappoint.
The Milt Jackson disc is definitely the weakest of the five discs. I hate the vibes, and I knew I wasn't going to like Jackson's vibe playing here easier, but I thought the presence of Herbie, Freddie, and Billy would make up for it. Not really. Its not a really bad record, but for me, the vibes are about as classy as blowing in coke bottles, and they are way too loud in the mix. Freddie's playing is decent, but Herbie is barely audible.