January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bobby Hutcherson!

The KickerVibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson was born in 1941 in Los Angeles. His first recording as a leader was The Kicker, with an all-star cast of Joe Henderson, Grant Green, Duke Pearson, Bob Cranshaw, and Al Harewood (the album was inexplicably kept in the Blue Note vaults until 1999). His vibraphone style is reminiscent of Milt Jackson, fast and tuneful, but with a more modern sense of interaction with his band mates. He also appeared on Grant Green’s Idle Moments, showing his hard bop credentials.
     Over the years, Hutcherson has recorded with Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill, Jackie McLean, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, and a long association with McCoy Tyner. He also made an appearance (as the bandleader) in the classic Sydney Pollack film They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) starring Jane Fonda. Hutcherson once stated that “the whole thing of being in music is not to control it but to be swept away by it.” He’s been sweeping us away now for decades.

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