Grant Green – Gooden’s Corner (1961)

FrontCover1Grant Green (June 6, 1935 – January 31, 1979) was an American jazz guitarist and composer.

Recording prolifically for Blue Note Records as both leader and sideman, Green performed in the hard bop, soul jazz, bebop, and Latin-tinged idioms throughout his career. Critics Michael Erlewine and Ron Wynn write, “A severely underrated player during his lifetime, Grant Green is one of the great unsung heroes of jazz guitar … Green’s playing is immediately recognizable – perhaps more than any other guitarist.”[2] Critic Dave Hunter described his sound as “lithe, loose, slightly bluesy and righteously groovy”.[3] He often performed in an organ trio, a small group with an organ and drummer.

Apart from guitarist Charlie Christian, Green’s primary influences were saxophonists, particularly Charlie Parker, and his approach was therefore almost exclusively linear rather than chordal. He thus rarely played rhythm guitar except as a sideman on albums led by other musicians. The simplicity and immediacy of Green’s playing, which tended to avoid chromaticism, derived from his early work playing rhythm and blues and, although at his best he achieved a synthesis of this style with bop, he was essentially a blues guitarist and returned almost exclusively to this style in his later career. (wikipedia)

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This is an album of real beauty and synergy between Green and pianist Sonny Clark, who along with Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on drums rounds out the quartet. Green, an expert with standards, offers “Moon River,” “On Green Dolphin Street,” and “Count Every Star.” This album was also released on The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Grant Green and Sonny Clark. (by Michael Erlewine)

Grant Green was such a busy and consistently superb guitarist for Blue Note during the first half of the 1960s that some of his most exciting recording sessions became temporarily lost in the shuffle. Very few record collectors own the original version of Gooden’s Corner, a 1961 quartet album with pianist Sonny Clark that in the 1960s was only available in Japan. It seems remarkable that this record was so rare for so many years.

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Green performs dazzling and definitive versions of such songs as “On Green Dolphin Street,” “What Is This Thing Called Love” and “Moon River.” Clark, one of the truly great bebop pianists, is heard in one of his last sessions. His interplay with Green is magical and telepathic, making one grateful that these two greats teamed up on records even if few at the time ever heard this. Gooden’s Corner, a long-lost treasure. (musicmattersjazz.com)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, December 23, 1961

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Personnel:
Sonny Clark (piano)
Grant Green (guitar)
Louis Hayes (drums)
Sam Jones (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Gooden’s Corner (Green) 8.25
02. Moon River (Mancini/Mercer) 5.45
03. On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper/Washington) 6.35
04. Shadrack (Blakey/Drew/Heath/MacGimsey) 6.30
05. Two For One (Green) 7.50
06. What Is This Thing Called Love (Porter) 6.00

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