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Sunday Mornin' (1961)

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Grant Green

Grant Green's fourth album, Sunday Mornin', was the first time Green recorded (as a leader) with a piano instead of an organ. Joined by pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Ben Tucker, and drummer Ben Dixon, Green makes Sunday Mornin' less of a soul-jazz session than his previous work, instead turning in a solid -- if not quite exceptional -- set of modal hard bop and laid-back grooves. Pianist Drew's sparse chording leaves plenty of room for Green's lilting tones to ring out, and since Green's approach relies on single-note lines rather than chords, the whole session ends up with a spacious, light feel. Half of the original six tracks are Green originals, including the Martin Luther King-inspired "Freedom March" and the gospel-tinged title track; the others are well-known repertory: "God Bless the Child," Miles Davis' "So What," and Eddie Harris' then-recent hit adaptation of the theme from "Exodus." Green is tasteful and elegant as always, and the results make for an enjoyable addition to his discography, even if there are more distinctive Green albums available. ~ Steve Huey