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Grant Green – Ballads (2002 FLAC)

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Grant Green - Ballads (2002 FLAC)

Grant Green – Ballads (2002 FLAC)

Artist: Grant Green
Album: Ballads
Release/Reissue: 2002
Genre: Jazz, Post-Bop

01. My One And Only Love
02. God Bless The Child
03. My Funny Valentine
04. Little Girl Blue
05. Born To Be Blue
06. Nancy (With The Laughing Face)
07. ‘Round About Midnight

Ballads captures Grant Green in a mellow mood, offering something like a portrait of an artist as a young guitarist. All seven selections are from 1960 and 1961, mostly, as the liner notes state, because Green performed ballads less often as time went on (especially as a leader). It’s instructive and gratifying, then, to have pieces like “My One and Only Love” and “Nancy (With the Laughing Face)” in one place. The personnel varies quite a bit since each cut originates from a different album, though pianist Sonny Clark plays on four cuts, including the lovely “Little Girl Blue.” Flutist Yusef Lateef, organist Jack McDuff, and drummer Al Harewood join in for a delicate, impressionistic rendering of “My Funny Valentine,” while bassist Ben Tucker and drummer Dave Bailey add minimalist support to a moody version of “‘Round Midnight.” On each tune, four of which exceed seven minutes, Green takes his time developing his ideas. He can dazzle, but he’d rather hold a note or allow a phrase to linger in the air for a moment. He’d rather wring a few more blue notes out of “God Bless the Child” than impress the listener with his speed and agility. For those unfamiliar with Green’s softer side, Ballads offers a fine introduction. For those in the know, Ballads conveniently collects these pieces in the same place, creating an exquisite late-night disc.

Grant Green – guitar
Ike Quebec – tenor saxophone
Yusef Lateef – flute
Sonny Clark – piano
Jack McDuff – Hammond B-3 organ