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JazzTimes 10: Great Blue Note Tracks from the 1970s

Paying long-overdue tribute to the label’s most underappreciated era

7. Bobby Hutcherson: “Montara” (from Montara, 1975)
Bobby Hutcherson’s 1970s LPs are pretty easy to find—except this one. If you do locate an original used copy of Montara, expect to pay both an ass and arm for it. On this Latin-jazz masterpiece, Hutcherson employs his signature virtuosity inside a matrix of foot-friendly Afro-Cuban grooves. The title track, basically an homage to his home at the time in California, is the album’s most haunting tune. It announces itself on the sneak with a gradual crescendo that gives way to an incantatory melody atop a lazy cha-cha groove. Then Hutcherson delivers a beautiful, leisurely paced marimba solo that speaks to his melodic ingenuity. “Montara” has been sampled, extrapolated, and rendered with appropriately velvet-gloved care by the likes of Q-Tip, Madlib, Royal Flush, the Underachievers, the Roots, and Stefon Harris.

Check the price of Montara on Amazon!

John Murph

John Murph is a Washington, D.C.-based music journalist and DJ. He’s written for numerous outlets that include JazzTimes, DownBeat, NPR Jazz, JazzWise, The Root, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. He hosts a weekly radio program at Eaton Hotel DC.