Blue Note


The Finest In Jazz Since 1939
High Fidelity

These Are Soulful Days (1999)


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Russell Malone

As part of Blue Note's 60th anniversary gala, Benny Green was invited to record a selection of his favorite tunes from the label's venerable catalog. Green picked eight songs previously recorded by the likes of Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Joe Henderson, and Dexter Gordon, then he recruited bassist Christian McBride and guitarist Russell Malone. Together, they recorded These Are Soulful Days, a splendid tribute to the glory days of Blue Note, when excellent hard bop musicians ruled the roster. Like the classic albums from the late '50s and early '60s, These Are Soulful Days clocks in at an economical 45 minutes and feels intimate. All eight songs were recorded directly to two-track, giving the music an immediate, vibrant feel. Since Green decided not to choose well-known standards, the songs are fresh, which is only appropriate, since the trio gives performances that are steeped in tradition, yet remain lively and unpredictable. At its best, These Are Soulful Days feels like a lost classic from the Blue Note vaults, and that's the highest praise that can be said about a project like this. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine