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Album Review

Another long period of silence followed Buck Hill's 2000 album, Uh-Huh! Buck Hill Live at Montpelier, but six years later, at the age of 79, the resilient mailman-by-day, hard-bopper-by-night returned to the recording scene fronting a soul-jazz organ trio. Here, Hill's big, assertive tenor sax tone seems to take on the dimensions of that of Hank Crawford or Stanley Turrentine without quite filching the playing patterns of either. That fits the format very well, and Hill has competent, technically adept sidemen (John Ozment, Hammond A 100; Paul Pieper, guitar; Jerry Jones, drums) who know the style and keep things simmering on low or medium flame. Indeed, the title track, "Relax," is precisely that, a textbook definition of loose, relaxed organ trio swing. The program divides itself more-or-less equally between some ingratiating Buck Hill originals and Miles Davis tunes — with the exception of the old Charlie Parker vehicle, "Old Folks," which Davis also covered anyhow. Furthermore, the Davis tunes aren't always the ones you would expect. The haunting "Flamenco Sketches" from Kind of Blue isn't covered often, and Hill finds the introspective beauty of the tune and yearning Andalusian chord changes to his liking. Good, unpretentious, soul-warming music-making all around. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


Born: 13 February 1927 in Washington DC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Buck Hill received some fame in the 1970s for being a mailman who also plays tenor. He actually began playing professionally in 1943, but always had a day job in Washington, D.C. He recorded with Charlie Byrd (1958-1959), but had to wait until the late '70s before getting his own dates. He went on to...
Full bio
Relax, Buck Hill
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  • 7,92 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 18 July 2006

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