Thursday, November 17, 2016

Harold Vick - 1968 - Watch What Happens

Harold Vick 
Watch What Happens

01. Watch What Happens 2:44
02. Ode To Trane 5:05
03. Serenata 3:03
04. Where Butterflies Play 2:34
05. If Ever I Would Leave You 6:45
06. This Hotel 3:10
07. Eloquence 3:41
08. Angel Eyes 5:30
09. Whisper Not 2:58
10. Guava Jelly 2:35
11. Autumn Sunset 3:30

Harold Vick - tenor sax
Jimmy Owens - trumpet, flugelhorn
Tom McIntosh - trombone
George Marge and Joe Farrell - reeds
John Blair - violin
Herbie Hancock - piano
Everett Barksdale - guitar
Bob Cranshaw - bass
Grady Tate - drums
Teddy Charles - vibraphone
Dave Carey - percussion
uncredited female vocal chorus

In this 1967 album (also released at some stage as "The Melody is Here" we get Vick in two settings :

Three tracks feature a quartet comprising Harold Vick on sax , Herbie Hancock on piano, Grady Tate on drums and Bob Cranshaw on bass. The standout track from the quartet session is Joe Bonner's beautiful "Ode to Trane", with superb understated solos from Hancock and Vick.

The other eight tracks are arranged and conducted by the idiosyncratic Ed Bland, a classical composer who sidelined in in individualistic soul and RnB arrangements - check this great post at Office Naps for a rundown on Mr Bland. The aforementioned quartet are joined by an uncredited nameless female chorus, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, reeds man Joe Farrell and several others.

Bland seems here to arrange in tones rather than in individual instruments, with lots of unison work from the voices, vibes, piano, reeds and so on, with the characteristics of each instrument - percussive, melodic, tonal etc - emphasised in different parts of each note. While Vick gets to break out with solos, everyone else is tightly arranged in the manner of a conducted orchestra - though featured pianist Herbie Hancock gets to break out on a few tracks.

It's all quite breezy and light with smatterings of a cocktail ambience - but we're talking good quality cocktails, so drink up! The ones that are sticking with me are the move themes "This Hotel" (from Richard Quines' "Hotel"); "Watch What Happens" (from Jacques Demy's experimental musical 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg', which also gave us Catherine Devenue), and Vick's shuffling "Eloquence".

Hit this one with some deceptively strong cocktails.

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