Jean de fleur
It’s amazing to consider how prolific guitarist Grant Green was on Blue Note, with albums spanning the entire ’60s into the early ’70s. Idle Moments, released in ’65, is easily one of his definitive statements, not to mention an LP that perfectly encapsulates the Blue Note aesthetic. To look at the cover art is almost to hear the music: the hazy blue patina, Green’s guitar about to sing out one of those tasty, blues-soaked phrases, with a feel that made him one of the most distinctive soloists in all of hard bop.
But in contrast to some of Green’s dates with quartet, organ trio, or other small configurations, Idle Moments presents a somewhat broader ensemble texture thanks to Bobby Hutcherson’s vibes and Joe Henderson’s tenor sax alongside Green, with pianist Duke Pearson (composer of “Nomad” and the title track), bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Al Harewood completing the lineup. The vibes-piano blend calls to mind the Modern Jazz Quartet, which makes John Lewis’ classic “Django” fit right in. But these formidable personalities bring something entirely their own to the lithe, dancing swing of Green’s “Jean de Fleur.” They’re especially effective sinking into the plush mattress of the title track, with its slower-than-slow swing tempo, for nearly 15 blissful, introspective minutes.