Buck Hill – Relax – Severn

by | Jul 5, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Buck Hill – Relax –  Severn CD #0039,  51:49  ******:

(Buck Hill, tenor sax; John Ozment, Hammond A100 organ; Paul Pieper, guitar; Jerry Jones, drums)

Buck Hill is one of the numerous regional talents that for one reason or another choose not to travel countrywide in search of fame or fortune. In Buck’s case, he chose to stay in the Washington D.C. area. There he raised a family and was a US Postal Service employee for 40 years. This does not mean that Buck did not have a recording career – having recorded for the Muse label in the 1980s with top-flight sidemen including Barry Harris, Johnny Coles, and Ray Drummond.

Well, Buck is back! His Severn 2006 issue CD shows Father Time has been kind to Mr. Hill. What makes this new CD so special is the inclusion of the Hammond organ played by John Ozment. It’s a match made in heaven. Including the Hammond with Hill’s soul dripping tenor gives the session an effortless greasy swing that makes the CD title so appropriate. When Buck and John lay back, Paul Pieper, on electric guitar. steps in for numerous Grant Green-like solos.

Their repertoire includes blues, Latin & bossa nova, and straight- ahead blowing. Buck includes 3 tunes associated with Miles Davis: Flamenco Sketches, Prancing, and Milestones. Miles was a frequent visitor to the DC area and his support of the Capitol’s chanteuse, Ms. Shirley Horn, makes it likely that his path crossed with Hill.

Flamenco Sketches features a brilliant solo by guitarist Pieper as well as more intuitive interplay with Ozment’s Hammond and Buck’s tenor. Prancing is taken gently by Hill with comping by Ozment and Pieper. Milestones is a feature mostly for Buck and he does not disappoint. An original Hill composition, Sad Ones, closes the set.

There is not a weak track on this CD. Hill’s big, muscular tone shows him to be in the school of Houston Person, George Coleman, and Stanley Turrentine just to name a few. What a nice school to attend! Welcome back, Buck, you‚ve been missed.

– Jeff Krow


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