Royal Flush ( w. Herbie Hancock ) =180g vinyl =
1 x LP
Francis Wolff Collection
( 1961 )2019 reissue on 180g LP - "Royal Flush" was the legendary pianist's first Blue Note session to be released, and it contains his first recorded composition, "Requiem." In all, don't fold on this one -- "Royal Flush" is a winning hand...
Release date: 20-04-2019(Originally released in 1961)
2019 EU reissue on 180g LP - "Royal Flush" was the legendary pianist's first Blue Note session to be released, and it contains his first recorded composition, "Requiem." In all, don't fold on this one -- "Royal Flush" is a winning hand and a jazz classic!
- Photography By [Cover Photo] – Francis Wolff
A2 I'm A Fool To Want You
B2 6 M's
This September 21, 1961 session has to be considered the trumpeter's best Blue Note album. Not only does it feature six standout, classic post bop tracks, impeccably performed by Byrd and his musical soulmate, the bartione saxophonist Pepper Adams (What a glorious sound they make together!), but it is also a jazz landmark for several important reasons. "Royal Flush" is the first Blue Note album to feature the magical rhythm duo of Butch Warren on bass and Billy Higgins on drums, a pair that would go on to provide the backbone of famous records by Dexter Gordon, Sonny Clark, Jackie McLean, and Herbie Hancock among others. And speaking of Hancock, "Royal Flush" was the legendary pianist's first Blue Note session to be released, and it contains his first recorded composition, "Requiem." In all, don't fold on this one -- "Royal Flush" is a winning hand and a jazz classic!
It should strictly be Byrd, Hancock and Pepper Adams, because the gruff baritone man is also featured on all these tracks. Byrd fell from grace somewhat by turning to fusion, but the deserved revival has been belated and partial and he’s now (surely?) not regarded with the respect given to Lee Morgan and other hard-bop trumpeters. It’s hard to say why, because Byrd almost never delivered a dull, let alone a poor, performance.
These are the recordings made during 1961, right before the trumpeter and Hancock recorded Free Form with Wayne Shorter. What you hear on all these cuts is speed of thought, not so much reacting to what is happening round him but anticipating where he can make the next move, place the next phrase and change the direction of the whole. Hancock at this stage largely defers to him. While his accompaniment is impeccable and his own solos always full of interest, one senses that it’s Byrd’s group. Adams tends to breenge (good Scots word) through it all, without much attention to his environment, but his booting sound is integral to the group and one notices how much more ethereal the line up with Shorter was only a short time later.
The two albums packaged together are Royal Flush and Out Of This World, but there’s bonus material from The Cat Walk and a live version of Hush from a St Louis jazz club, which bookends the set rather nicely. Normally these compilations are overloaded with material, however welcome the documentation is, but this one actually passes rather quickly given its duration, and that’s testament to Byrd’s agility and the flow of ideas passing between the two principals.
The rhythm sections are good, too. Higgins is in imperious form on Royal Flush and Cobb is at his stately best on the other main record. Only Philly Joe overplays his hand and makes some of the Cat Walk material sound a bit brash. Great packaging with some wonderful photographs.
Extra info: Francis Wolff Collection
Label: Jazz Image
Originally released: 1961
This release: 2015