Grachan Moncur III’s remarkable 1963 debut Evolution is a marvel of the Blue Note catalogue that moves between avant-garde and post-bop yet exists in a realm of its own due to the trombonist’s singular compositions which are performed by an exceptional ensemble featuring Lee Morgan, Jackie McLean, Bobby Hutcherson, Bob Cranshaw, and Tony Williams.
Grachan Moncur III got his first major exposure on Jackie McLean's groundbreaking 1963 masterpiece, One Step Beyond. Toward the end of the year, most of the same musicians reconvened for Moncur's debut as a leader, Evolution; McLean, vibist Bobby Hutcherson, and drummer Tony Williams are all back, with Bob Cranshaw on bass and an extra voice in trumpeter Lee Morgan, moonlighting from his usual groovy hard bop style. While Moncur takes a little more solo space here, the main emphasis is on his talent as a composer. The four originals are all extended, multi-sectioned works (the shortest is around eight minutes), all quite ambitious, and all terrifically moody; much of the album sounds sinister and foreboding, and even the brighter material has a twisted, surreal fun-house undercurrent.
This Blue Note Classic Vinyl Edition is stereo, all-analogue, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.
Format / 180 gram LP
Label / Blue Note
Cat No / 4535335
Genre / Jazz
Release date / 18th November 2022