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Andrew Hill

Passing Ships

Passing Ships

UPC: 602435148427

Format: LP (3 disc)

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Personnel: Andrew Hill (piano); Joe Farrell (soprano & tenor saxophone, alto flute, bass clarinet, English horn); Woody Shaw, Dizzy Reece (trumpet); Bob Northern (French horn); Julian Priester (trombone); Howard Johnson (tuba, bass clarinet); Ron Carter (bass); Lenny White (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 7, 1969. Includes liner notes by Michael Cuscuna.
This larger group session was recorded for Blue Note in 1969 but had to wait until 2003 to see the light of day. It was worth the wait, since PASSING SHIPS is one of composer-pianist Andrew Hill's most varied and distinctive efforts. Actually, the group here isn't all that big when you check the lineup, but Hill's skillful writing makes it sound as if we're listening to a more spacious ensemble. In addition, he makes most effective use of reedman Joe Farrell's multi-instrumental talents here. Not only does Farrell excel in the usual tenor and soprano saxophone roles but it's his English horn that sings the plaintive theme on the title track and his dusky alto flute that establishes the mood of the exotic "Noon Tide." The writing throughout is fresh and, most of all, coherent, which can't be said for all free-jazz endeavors of the era. But Andrew Hill had a particular knack for making the avant-garde a part of the mainstream. With PASSING SHIPS, he joins the ranks of Mingus and Gil Evans as a great composer-arranger for large forces.

Tracks:

Disc 1:
1 - Sideways
2 - Passing Ships
3 - Plantation Bag
4 - Noon Tide
5 - Brown Queen
6 - Cascade
7 - Tomorrow
Disc 2:
1 - Noon Tide
2 - Brown Queen
Disc 3:
1 - Cascade
2 - Tomorrow