July 29, 2017

Grant Green - I Want To Hold Your Hand (1965)


I Want To Hold Your Hand is one of Grant Green's several soul-jazz masterpieces from 1964 and 1965. I'm not sure why people undersell this album since it's about as fuego of a trio you'll ever get. This is smooth and easy-going music, but trust that it's about fifty times more substantial than any generic Blue Note soul sessions. Green is supported by Elvin Jones and Larry Young on this album, both of whom had firm footholds in the new-era of mid 60s post-bop and avant-garde jazz. This trio was a bit of common soul-cell for Blue Note in 64/65 (they recorded Into Somethin', Street Of Dreams, Talkin' Bout, and even more as duos those two years). Hank Mobley is also a part of this session. He's a pretty lame saxophonist, but at least he never messes up any slow soul jams or ballads which make up the entire album. Basically he just provides some extra notes to make chord progressions even softer, so it's not like he gets in the way at all. The real magic is hearing Young and Green play alongside each other; I swear it's like two sides of a zipper coming together, they always lock in for a near-perfect recording session. Also, if I consider a quality to quantity ratio, then Larry Young is my favorite Hammond player over Jimmy Smith, so any Blue Note album with him is literal gold to me. I Want To Hold Your Hand is one of the most wholesome and soothing soul-jazz sessions I've heard and one of Grant Green's very best.

Sample

I Want To Hold Your Hand