GRANT GREEN: ‘Street Of Dreams’ (Label: Blue Note)

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GRANT GREEN: 'Street Of Dreams'

With more than twenty albums to his name and myriad sessions as a sideman, guitar maestro Grant Green was undoubtedly one of the most prolific musicians ever signed to Alfred Lion’s and Francis Wolff’s iconic Blue Note label. Most jazz critics agree that his most fertile stint with the label was from 1961-1965 when he released a clutch of consistently strong straight-ahead-style jazz albums. Quality-wise, there’s not a lot to choose between the numerous LPs he cut during those productive first four years with the company and the newly remastered ‘Street Of Dreams’ is typical of Green’s early-’60s oeuvre – though it’s not mind-blowing and doesn’t push the boundaries of jazz, it’s a solid set of standards that is well-executed and supremely tasteful. In many ways, the album epitomises Green’s distinctive ‘less-is-more’ ethos: there’s nothing flash or ostentatious about his playing – he relaxes into the groove and picks out melodic lines that have a horn or saxophone-like quality in terms of phrasing. He’s accompanied by vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, organist Larry Young and Coltrane drummer, Elvin Jones. Interestingly, Jones – who’s famed for his volcanic power – is in subdued mode here, contributing a soft and subtle rhythmic undertow over which vibes, organ and guitar play crystalline filigrees. The whole session is extremely laid back with the liveliest number being the breezy opener, ‘I Wish You Love.’ Perhaps the most pleasing of the album’s four tracks is a languid rendering of ‘Lazy Afternoon’ but the title track and the closing ‘Somewhere In The Night’ are equally noteworthy. ‘Street Of Dreams’ is just one of many fine titles in Blue Note’s latest batch of RVG remasters.
(CW) 4/5