Matador

Released

By all accounts, 1964 was a slow year for the John Coltrane Quartet, but pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones stayed busy with Blue Note recording dates, providing eloquent muscle for hard bop classics like Wayne Shorter’s Night Dreamer and Juju as well as Joe Henderson’s In ‘N Out. Unfortunately left out of that list is Grant Green’s Matador, recorded that same summer, but shelved until 1979 (a few months after Green’s untimely death). Green serves as fascinating foil with his one-note runs and clear tone, as well as his deep bag of blues and R&B licks; pair delectably with Tyner-Jones. He rides the thunder of Jones on the modal work-out “Bedouin,” which you could say re-imagines Coltrane as a soulful nightclub guitarist, except that the session also features a ten-minute read of “My Favorite Things.” After countless nights playing it behind Coltrane, both Tyner and Jones find new nuances in Green’s blues-y runs, feeling relaxed and free here.

Andy Beta