Bobby Hutcherson: The Kicker
I can’t get enough of vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson lately. He has this singing tone that I dig. Maybe a less percussive approach compared to some – not sure yet. So, I find I often like the ballads more for this reason. In this case the second track Mirrors, or Bedouin, the final track, stand out for me.
I’ve heard plenty of records where he supported other leaders (Eric Dolphy, Grant Green are two), and a couple of his releases as a leader for Blue Note. This session was recorded in December 1963, but not released until 1999. The first half features Hutcherson with Joe Henderson and Duke Pearson. For the second side, Grant Green joins in on the title track and final two tunes.
The recording is typically natural sounding, dynamic and engaging. For many tracks, bass and piano are center-mixed, with drums and guitar hard right. The piano is a bit murky. The vibes are more forward in the mix, along with the horn.
I’m looking forward to next week – I’ll have a copy of Hutcherson’s Happenings in-house.
My initial searches for The Kicker on vinyl have come up short. I believe it was a limited release.
I’m listening to this release via Tidal: