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Hal McKusick: Three Classic Albums (Jazz At The Academy / Jazz Workshop / Cross Section - Saxes) (2CD)

Hal McKusick: Three Classic Albums (Jazz At The Academy / Jazz Workshop / Cross Section - Saxes) (2CD)

Ref: AMSC1167

(UK Postage Free )


AVID Jazz presents three classic Hal McKusick albums, including original liner notes on a finely re-mastered and low priced double CD.
“Jazz At The Academy”; “Jazz Workshop” and “Cross Section-Saxes”
Here’s an interesting quote from the original liner notes to our first selection “Jazz At The Academy”. “The title Jazz At the Academy has a dual significance. Literally it refers to the Academy in Brooklyn, where the Hal McKusick Quartette took part in a concert at which these sides were recorded. Figuratively, the phrase has a broader implication, for the academic approach to jazz-indeed the very concept of jazz as a medium for academic expression and for musical and technical experimentation- is a relatively recent development in the history of American music.” There’s plenty more where that came from in the liner notes, if you would like to pursue a more intellectual jazz path! Or you could just listen to the fine music within these perhaps slightly elevated notes. This one makes more sense to us…” The picture of Hal McKusick that emerges from these sides is that of an alto man, who, while he has clearly lived in the age of Parker, is no longer beholden to the precepts of the Bird.” Another eminently quotable album is our next choice…..”Hal McKusick is the discerning type of musician who is disturbed when he finds monotony in a jazz set, particularly if he finds it in his own collections. So in laying out the framework for this “Jazz Workshop” album, he held to variety as a keynote…..One way to achieve variety, he felt, would be to give representation to six composers…..because he believes that they represent inventive thinking in jazz”. And the big six? George Russell, Gil Evans, Manny Alban, Jimmy Guiffre, Johnny Mandel and Al Cohn. Not a bad bunch! The intellectual pursuit of the meaning of jazz is somewhat continued on our next and last choice “Cross Section-Saxes”….read this and see what we mean…..”When the jazz musician no longer seeks out fresh avenues of expression, he shrivels on the vine”….a bit dramatic we feel, not every jazz musician can be a creative genius! So back to Mr McKusick who perhaps was a creative genius as here he is quoted on the original liner notes again….” A continuing sense of growth as a musician and as a person is of utmost importance to me….I feel that very often little can be gained by doing the same sort of things over and over, especially if there’s no more to be learned by doing them……..standing still in jazz can become an unfortunate habit”. These themes of a continual search for meaning and to be better were becoming very popular in the fifties and certainly into the sixties where the search for enlightenment took the likes of Coltrane to the outer reaches of creativity! There was a restlessness in the air that found its way into all forms of the arts. The concluding paragraph of the liner notes continues the theme……”In summation, the most valid thing to say is that this program has a point of view. It is an expression of the musicians and the writers and their need to pump fresh life into the body of that which they love and obviously respect. With people of this kind-the restless, the adventurous, yet well – rooted lies the future of jazz. If for no other reason, this cross section of jazz thought is important”
All three albums plus have been digitally re-mastered.

1-10: ‘Jazz At The Academy’
1. Give ‘Em Hal
2. When The Sun Comes Out
3. Can’t Get Out Of This Mood
4. These Foolish Things
5. Out Of This World
6. This Is New
7. Over The Rainbow
8. Serenade In Blue
9. Prelude To A Kiss
10. Irresistible You
11-16: ‘Jazz Workshop’
11. Tommy Hawk
12. Lydian Lullaby
13. Blues For Pablo
14. Just Leave It Alone
15. Miss Clara
16. Alto Cumulus

1-5: ‘Jazz Workshop’
1. The Day John Brown Was Hanged
2. One Score And Eight Horns Ago
3. Ain’t Nothin’ But a Memory Now
4. Jambangle
5. The Blues Train
6-15: ‘Cross Section-Saxes’
6. Whisper Not
7. Your My Thrill
8. It Never Entered My Head
9. Stratusphunk
10. The Last Day Of Fall
11. Now’s The Time
12. Yesterdays
13. The End Of A Love Affair
14. Sing Song
15. La Rue

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