Bobby Hutcherson - For Sentimental Reasons

KOB 10020


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  1. (i love you) for sentimental reasons (deek watson/william best)
  2. ode to angela (harold land)
  3. embraceable you (george gershwin/ira gershwin)
  4. along came betty (benny golson)
  5. somewhere (leonard bernstein/stephen sondheim)
  6. jitterbug waltz (fats waller)
  7. what are you doing the rest of your life (marilyn bergman/alan bergman/michel legrand)
  8. don't blame me (jimmy mchugh/dorothy fields)
  9. spring is here (lorenz hart/richard rodgers)
  10. i wish i knew (harry warren/mack gordon)
  11. i'll be seeing you (irving kahal/sammy fain)

bobby hutcherson vibraphone
renee rosnes piano
dwayne burno bass
al foster drums

recorded at sony music studios, new york,
november 2006
produced by richard seidel for rise productions

kind of blue 10020

As much as any great creative artist who has ever touched our hearts in the inner space of a story or a song, Bobby Hutcherson helps us to more readily welcome and celebrate the seemingly endless contradictions, polarities, and paradoxes of life. From Bobby's swinging music, our souls learn an important little bit more about loving the whole spectrum of happy and sad and hopeful and mad that makes our brief time in this realm of day and night and clay and light a lot more worth living.

As his fellow vibraphonist Joe Locke observed, "Bobby's music seems to embrace the whole experience of living. Passion, humor, tenderness, a sharp intellect and deep humility are part and parcel of his work. What listeners have come to expect from a Bobby Hutcherson performance -- the emotional range, the long, twisting shapes of melody and harmony that seem to climb into forever, the risk-taking -- would have been thought impossible on the instrument before he came along. But no matter how sophisticated it gets, his art never fails to hold a mirror to the beauty of our own shared humanity."

During the week before Bobby made this timeless recording, he told me that "I always wanted to do a whole album of ballads and love songs. This is my love record." And so it is, but the simple truth is that every note that Bobby Hutcherson has recorded through his long and storied career has lifted and warmed us with the kind of love whose greatest thrill is asking nothing in return. "You know," Hutcherson told me as he reflected several weeks after the cd was finished, "One of the hardest things in the world to do is to play simple, to give the listener room to become part of the creative possibilities of the experience."

"Sometimes the greatest joys in life come from the simplest things and those little feelings that go unnoticed," Bobby continued to explain. "The greatest guy in the world comes in the room, and noone knows he was there. It's not the meal that we are enjoying as much as the person we are sharing it with." Hutcherson was especially appreciative of the invaluable contributions that pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist Dwayne Burno, and drummer Al Foster made to "For Sentimental Reasons": "Renee knows so well how to keep things open and flowing just by all the varied harmonic suggestions and implications of what she plays. Al has wonderful melodic sensitivity."

Whether we are listening to exhilarating versions of Fats Waller's classic "Jitterbug Waltz" or Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh's "Don't Blame Me" or Benny Golson's "Along Came Betty" or to the tender treatment of George and Ira Gershwin's "Embraceable You," we cannot help but be astonished throughout this recording by the soaring interplay of Renee Rosnes and Bobby Hutcherson, and the remarkable rhythmic telepathy of Al Foster and Dwayne Burno. Bobby's soulful reading of Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere" has so much depth that we can hear each and every one of Stephen Sondheim's lyrics in every heartfelt note that Bobby sings through his instrument.

"The greatest component of the gift that Bobby has given us is his ability to transcend the instrument itself," vibraphonist Stefon Harris recently stated. "Bobby Hutcherson has been so absolutely essential in helping to take the vibes beyond its traditional rhythmic role to a new function with an enhanced sense of harmonic adventure and incisive lyricism. The only thing that is more inspiring than the constant diversity of his creative ideas is the fact that he continues to grow and to set the bar ever higher for himself. And for all of us."

Over thirty years ago, in a San Francisco jazz club known as Keystone Korner because it was next door to the North Beach police station, Bobby Hutcherson got one of his earliest opportunities to share the stage with one of his childhood heroes, grandmaster of the vibes Milt Jackson. After their breathtaking performance, I asked Bags in the club dressing room if he had any favorite younger vibes players, and he replied in his usual succinct manner, "Bobby's the one."

And Bobby still is.

--Todd Barkan
Jazz at Lincoln Center
New York City
February, 2007

...gorgeously mellow... seductively sublime standards... ethereal, peaceful, intricate... as sophisticated as anything from his classic Blue Note recordings
   - All That Jazz (USA)

...a tight range of expression, focusing on melody and phrasing with the precision of a good singer...
   - The New York Times (USA)

...strikingly different... throughout, less is more and beauty outshines the velocity.
   - Billboard (USA) Critics' Choice

...intimate and personal
   - Downbeat (USA)

...sheer perfection
   - Observer Review (UK)

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