Saturday, November 22, 2014

Grant Green - The Latin Bit

Grant Green, being known mainly as a soul jazz guitarist, eventually gravitated into the popular boogaloo sound. The Latin Bit is the natural bridge to that next phase, though a bit premature for most in 1961-1963, even relative to the subsequent bossa nova craze. Pianist Johnny Acea, long an underrated jazzman, is the nucleus of this session, grounding it with witty chops, chordal comping, and rhythmic meat. The Latino rhythm section of drummer Willie Bobo and conga player Carlos "Patato" Valdes personify authentic, seasoned spice, while at times the chekere sound of Garvin Masseaux makes the soup too thick. At its collective best, the group presents a steady, serene, and steamy "Besame Mucho" and the patient, slow, slinky, sultry "Tico Tico." Just a small step below is a classy take on Charlie Parker's "My Little Suede Shoes," a premier jazz bebop (emphasis) tune with a Latin undertow and Green's tiniest staccato phrases, slightly marred by the overbearing constant chekere, but still classic. "Mama Inez" ranks high for its calypso-infused happy feeling and wry stop-start lines. The straight-ahead hard bopper "Brazil" and lone soul-jazz tune, "Blues for Juanita," display the single-note acumen that made Green's style instantly recognizable. This date always yielded mixed results for staunch fans of Green, but it remains a credible effort, even if slightly flawed in part. [Some reissues add two selections with pianist Sonny Clark and tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec, the latter of whom plays hip secondary harmonies on the bossa nova-flavored "Granada," but is in the complete background and a non-factor on the pop tune "Hey There."] - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Grant Green
Album: The Latin Bit
Year: 1962
Label: Blue Note (1996)
Runtime: 59:42

1.  Mambo Inn (Mario Bauzá/Edgar Sampson/Bobby Woodlen) 5:50
2.  Besame Mucho (Sunny Skylar/Consuelo Velázquez) 7:11
3.  Mama Inez (L. Wolfe Gilbert/Eliseo Grenet) 6:40
4.  Brazil (Ary Barroso/Bob Russell) 5:01
5.  Tico Tico (Jose Abreu/Ervin Drake/Aloysio Oliveira) 7:45
6.  My Little Suede Shoes (Charlie Parker) 6:23
7.  Blues For Juanita (Grant Green) 7:04
8.  Grenada (Agustín Lara) 6:26
9.  Hey There (Richard Adler/Jerry Ross) 7:22

Grant Green (Guitar)
Wendell Marshall (Double Bass)
Willie Bobo (Drums)
Carlos "Patato" Valdez (Conga)
Johnny Acea (Piano) - 1-7
Carvin Masseaux (Chekere) - 1-6
Ike Quebeck (Tenor Saxophone) - 8,9


  1. A superb album I really enjoyed, each track is a joy and GG is in great form. The "Blues For Juanita" is a masterclass in jazz-blues guitar. Thank you very much for sharing this one itr !

  2. What's good ITR this is Run from Run's Lossless (I hope that name doesn't get you in trouble, lol). Just reaching out to give thanks for all you do. In case you didn't know my blogger account has been shut down I just want to make sure we keep in contact. I guess I am officially on the radar. Anyway happy Thanksgiving to you my dude. Thanks for all you do and this Grant Green which I know I am going to enjoy. peace



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