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Two years ago around the month of August, a notable yet almost underrated figure in the twentieth century Jazz movement had passed. His name was Bobby Hutcherson, one of the venerable composers of the prestigious Jazz label, Blue Note Records.
It seems that especially in the decade where no information could possibly exit the circle of social media, once a leading or present figure in any movement passes along, the whole world knows. From this present shock, the world is then reminded of the peace and joy their work gave to us during their time on Earth.
Major musicians, writer, filmmakers, and the sorts all have one thing in common. Somewhere along the line of their works, one of their pieces really hit home for their fans. From Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet to Amy Whinehouse’s Back To Black, their work reached someone at an internal level.
When something reaches the consumer at that level, they reach some sort of meditative trance. Nothing else matters when Maya Angelou’s words paint a surreal image in the reader’s head, or Coltrane’s saxophone titillates all five senses of the listener.
Hutcherson was a Jazz composer known by his peers and listeners as a master of the vibraphone. His inert touch on the melodious vibraphone was his main caliber. It would be similar to how the infamous Roy Ayers is automatically thought of as the eminent xylophone player. There’s something about those two instruments whose single functions impact the whole dynamic of their respective compositions.
In essence, every necessary instrument serves that function. What is it about the tingling vibrations of the vibraphone really enrapture peoples’ nerves and emotions? The best piece of work I could offer to describe the enlightening sensations of a few chords would be exemplified in Bobby Hutcherson’s 1975 album, Montara.
Montara is composed of seven compositions conducted by Hutcherson and his modicum of Brass and Percussion instrumentalists. The main articulation this album goes by is the experimental forte it establishes with its fusion with Soft Jazz and exotic Latin-influenced Funk music. Although these two genres seem as if they don’t belong in transfusion, the 1970’s proved otherwise.
This is one of Hutcherson’s more noticeable compositions:
Video uploaded by David19225 (YouTube)
Hutcherson, as well as the affiliates of Funk and Acid Jazz, were tasting worldly realms of music. As urban America began to broadcast its reaching for cultural knowledge, musicians alike began their obsessed witch hunt for creative knowledge and artistic discipline.
Once the connections were established, the composers would watch and observe the talents of foreign artists and their sounds. Implementing the different talents into their compositions, new types of orderly sounds were beginning to be found. If the sounds were comprehensive and resonating, they were able to submit the listener into a trance.
When listening to your favorite music, entrancement is the best possible result for the musician to succeed. Hutcherson managed to complete that with his album Montara. With the seven compositions presented, the styles and pattern come in different shapes and sizes. Tracks such as Montara and Little Angel are the most benign of the bunch but are the most tranquil as a result.
Their quietness results in the senses calming, really putting the mental state to a state of an oasis.
The more energetic compositions are more in tune with the Latin flare. Oye Como Va and Yuyo have the bouncy progression that follows a typical Latin composition, added by Hutcherson’s vibraphone performance, seemingly adding tot he already comprehensive tracks.
The unexpected component of the vibraphone the manages to work well with standard Latin music composition is also another conduit for sensational meditation.
Jazz music has always been performed as the background noise behind ruminations or escapism. Just like any other genre, the way the listener has to relate to their preferred choice of music has to be intuitive. Jazz music may have been the intermediary for listeners of the 1960’s and 1970’s, as Deep House music could have been the case for listeners from raised in the 1990’s.
Whatever the case may be, one certain project, track, or artist’s discography overall managed to convert their listener into their work. Their effort was translated into meditative shock, or being so enveloped in the music that your whole perspective shifts, or at least your ignorance wane off.
As other Miles Davis is no exception to that statement, Hutcherson is an under looked appreciation, and this album is the perfect showcasing for that.