Black Fire

Performers Andrew Hill

Blue Note | August 3, 2004 | Compact Disc

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Black Fire, Andrew Hill's debut record for Blue Note, was an impressive statement of purpose that retains much of its power decades after its initial release. Hill's music is quite original, building from a hard bop foundation and moving into uncharted harmonic and rhythmic territory. His compositions and technique take chances; he often sounds restless, searching relentlessly for provocative voicings, rhythms, and phrases. Black Fire borrows from the avant-garde, but it's not part of it -- the structures remain quite similar to bop, and there are distinct melodies. Nevertheless, Hill and his band -- comprised of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Roy Haynes -- are not content with the limitations of hard bop. Much of the music is informed by implied Afro-Cuban rhythms and modal harmonics, resulting in continually challenging and very rewarding music. Hill's complex chording is thoroughly impressive, and Henderson's bold solos are more adventurous than his previous bop outings would have suggested. Their expertise and the nimble, unpredictable rhythm section help make Black Fire a modern jazz classic. The 2004 Rudy Van Gelder edition features spectacularly remastered sound and places the alternate takes of the title cut and "Pumpkin" (which appeared on the 1998 CD issue) at the bottom of the track list, leaving the original sequence intact. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: August 3, 2004

Genre: Piano

Style: Jazz

Number of Discs: 1

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 1963

Label Name: Blue Note

UPC: 724359650128

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– More About This Product –

Black Fire

Performers Andrew Hill
Guest Artist(s) Joe Henderson, Richard Davis, Roy Haynes
Producer Alfred Lion
Engineer Rudy Van Gelder

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: August 3, 2004

Genre: Piano

Style: Jazz

Number of Discs: 1

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 1963

Label Name: Blue Note

UPC: 724359650128


Title Track Time
1.Pumpkin --
2.Subterfuge --
3.Black Fire --
4.Cantarnos --
5.Tired Trade --
6.McNeil Island --
7.Land Of Nod --
8.Pumpkin - (alternate take, bonus track) --
9.Black Fire - (alternate take, bonus track) --

Editorial Notes

Black Fire, Andrew Hill's debut record for Blue Note, was an impressive statement of purpose that retains much of its power decades after its initial release. Hill's music is quite original, building from a hard bop foundation and moving into uncharted harmonic and rhythmic territory. His compositions and technique take chances; he often sounds restless, searching relentlessly for provocative voicings, rhythms, and phrases. Black Fire borrows from the avant-garde, but it's not part of it -- the structures remain quite similar to bop, and there are distinct melodies. Nevertheless, Hill and his band -- comprised of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Roy Haynes -- are not content with the limitations of hard bop. Much of the music is informed by implied Afro-Cuban rhythms and modal harmonics, resulting in continually challenging and very rewarding music. Hill's complex chording is thoroughly impressive, and Henderson's bold solos are more adventurous than his previous bop outings would have suggested. Their expertise and the nimble, unpredictable rhythm section help make Black Fire a modern jazz classic. The 2004 Rudy Van Gelder edition features spectacularly remastered sound and places the alternate takes of the title cut and "Pumpkin" (which appeared on the 1998 CD issue) at the bottom of the track list, leaving the original sequence intact. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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