Andrew Hill: Desire




Andrew Hill (piano)


Change (Blue Note 85190)

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Andrew Hill (piano), Sam Rivers (tenor sax),

Walter Broker (bass), J.C. Moses (drums)


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 7, 1966


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

I love the vibe of this piece. Itís very focused and dark, with a kind of lope to it. The bassline is really simple, but the way itís played is evil! I mean that in the best way. Itís beyond bad! A mess!! I think what really sells it for me is that Walter Booker is playing almost a quarter tone flat, but because itís in the bass register, it somehow works. It creates this sustained harmonic instability. Heís only playing two notes, the V to the I. I think itís C-minor. But because itís flat in just the right way, it warps and expands the richness of the spectrum harmonically; it thickens the tonal space. Itís a trance-like bassline that keeps repeating, and Andrew seems to be almost sleepwalking. I use the word ďgoneĒ about the way heís playing there. I can immerse myself in it. Itís great to hear Andrew and Sam Rivers together.

Thereís an alternate take of this tune, on which the bassist is more active. Heís interacting and sometimes walking. But I like the trance version better. I think the bending of the pitch enhances that, because it blurred the whole picture in such an interesting way. The reason it doesnít get higher than 98 is because itís sort of static, but I like the stasis.

Reviewer: Vijay Iyer

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