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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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This languid, seductive gem may well be Grant Green's greatest moment on record. Right from the opening bars of the classic title cut, Idle Moments is immediately ingratiating and accessible, featuring some of Green's most stylish straight jazz playing. Whether he's running warm (pianist Duke Pearson's "Idle Moments"), cool (the Modern Jazz Quartet's "Django"), or a bit more up-tempo (Pearson's "Nomad," his own "Jean de Fleur"), Green treats the material with the graceful elegance that was the hallmark of his best hard bop sessions, and that quality achieves its fullest expression here. He's helped by an ensemble that, as a sextet, is slightly larger and fuller-sounding than usual, and there's plenty of room for solo explorations on the four extended pieces. Pearson's touch on the piano is typically warm, while two players best known on Blue Note for their modernist dates mellow out a bit -- the cool shimmer of Bobby Hutcherson's vibes is a marvelously effective addition to the atmosphere, while Joe Henderson plays with a husky, almost Ike Quebec-like breathiness. That cushion of support helps spur Green to some of the loveliest, most intimate performances of his career -- no matter what the tempo, it's as if his guitar is whispering secrets in your ear. It's especially true on the dreamy title track, though: a gorgeous, caressing, near-15-minute excursion that drifts softly along like a warm, starry summer night. Even more than the two-disc set The Complete Quartets With Sonny Clark, Idle Moments is the essential first Green purchase, and some of the finest guitar jazz of the hard bop era. ~ Steve Huey
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1985 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released May 21, 1971 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

Grant Green's early-'70s recordings for Blue Note are continually attacked by jazz critics for being slick, overly commercial sessions that leaned closer to contemporary pop and R&B than hard bop or soul jazz. There's no denying that Green, like many of his Blue Note contemporaries, did choose a commercial path in the early '70s, but there were some virtues to these records, and Visions in particular. Often, these albums were distinguished by hot, funky workouts in the vein of Sly Stone or James Brown, but that's not the case here. On Visions, the guitarist crafted a set of appealingly melodic, lightly funky pop-jazz, concentrating on pop hits like "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is," "Love On a Two Way Street," "We've Only Just Begun," and "Never Can Say Goodbye." Supported by minor-league players, Green nevertheless turns in an elegant and dignified performance -- after stating the melody on each song, he contributes typically graceful, memorable solos. Simply put, he sounds fresh, and his playing here is the best it has been since 1965's His Majesty, King Funk. Ultimately, Visions is a bit laid-back, and the electric piano-heavy arrangements are a little dated, but Grant Green never made a commercial pop-jazz album as appealing and satisfying as Visions. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Jazz - Released December 7, 1979 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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. ~ Michael Erlewine
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Jazz - Released April 11, 1980 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

This is a great album with the classic synergy of Green and pianist Sonny Clark, who along with Sam Jones on bass and Art Blakey complete the quartet. This album was also released on The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Grant Green and Sonny Clark. Just classic Green. ~ Michael Erlewine
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Jazz - Released February 2, 1980 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released July 12, 1972 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

A Blue Note date with a large group including about horns, reeds, woodwinds, vibes, et al. Consists of standards and even a medley. This is not the old Grant Green. ~ Michael Erlewine