A wicked late Blue Note album from Grant Green – quite different than his smaller combo work from the early years, and done with some great larger arrangements that feature some ultra-hip vibes from the legendary Billy Wooten! Wooten's as great here as on his famous work with the Ninteenth Whole, and his vibes bring a nice edge to the record – ringing out in bold chromatic tones behind Green's guitar – amidst some warm electric backings that feature keyboards from Emmanuel Riggins, drums from Idris Muhammad, and congas from Ray Armando.
Some of Grant Green's hottest moments as a jazz-funk bandleader came on his live records of the era, which were filled with extended, smoking grooves and gritty ensemble interplay. Live at the Lighthouse makes a fine companion piece to the excellent Alive!, though there are some subtle differences which give the album its own distinct flavor. For starters, the average track length is even greater, with four of the six jams clocking in at over 12 minutes. That makes it easy to get lost in the grooves as the musicians ride and work them over.
Quite an unusual album from Grant Green – a record that's quite different than his earlier records for Blue Note, but still pretty darn great overall! Grant's working here in a large group – Kudu style – with arrangements by David Matthews, but a sound that's still pretty lean overall! There's a fair bit of great players in the lineup – including Jon Faddis on trumpet, Hubert Laws on flute, and Joe Farrell on tenor – and the horns soar out nicely to set the scene over some tightly stepping backings – all served up with plenty of room for Grant to solo spaciously on guitar! The title track – "The Main Attraction" – is nearly 20 minutes long – and the other two tracks, "Creature" and "Future Feature", both approach the 10 minute mark themselves!
A beautiful stripped-down session that was recorded in the mid 60s, but not issued until the end of the decade, for some strange reason! Grant Green plays guitar in a laidback quartet with Herbie Hancock on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – all working wonderfully together, in long spiralling lines that are filled with soul and a gentle, easy groove. The set is an odd mix of compositions with a "western" theme – like "I Can't Stop Loving You", "Wagon Wheels", and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" – but the players more than manage to make the session swing way past the origins of the material! Very tough to find, but an essential addition to any Grant Green collection!
Live at Club Mozambique was, according to Bob Belden's liner notes, rumored to exist for decades in Blue Note's Grant Green discography, but was never released. His explanation as to why is satisfactory – Green's star had waned considerably – and makes some sense, but the label had 15 unissued albums by the guitarist by 1971. This date recorded at the famed Detroit jazz club (Green was living in the city at the time) is the second such set of grooves to be issued from the club floor – Lonnie Smith's was the first. The band consists of Idris Muhammad, Ronnie Foster, Houston Person, and the all but unknown Clarence Thomas, and the two tenor saxophonists (Thomas also played soprano here) laid out heavy, deep funk on the tunes that were chosen.