December 5, 2014

Pete La Roca - Basra (1965)

Joe Henderson and Pete La Roca again. They did some real awesome stuff before this (Page One and Our Thing), but I'm pretty sure this is their first time recording together without Kenny Dorham. A great trio indeed and I have to say that it does sound like something's missing here. Still an awesome album that more people need to hear. The first track is a pretty obvious homage to Ole Coltrane, every instrument is mimicking that recording, but Henderson and Coltrane were so different really and it is fascinating to hear that juxtaposition. After the opening track the band proves to be really unique, especially on Blue Note at this time. Steve Kuhn and Steve Swallow are huge change-ups to what the non avant garde side of Blue Note was used to in those years (I'm speaking of course of the boogaloo and related funkiness). Here we have some pretty subdued music that is kind of like a quasi-Bill Evans. Put the Bossa Nova influenced styles La Roca and Henderson were used to on top of that and you've got a pretty chill album.