R.I.P.: Bobby Hutcherson

I first heard Bobby Hutcherson on an album that changed my life: Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch! (Blue Note). After that Hutcherson was my man on vibes like Larry Young was my master of modern organ jazz. I was almost as blown away by his work with Jackie McLean, particularly One Step Beyond. We had the great privilege and pleasure of seeing him perform with McLean and a couple times with his own group in the ’90s and then about 10 years ago in a San Diego club where he was so relaxed (but alert) you felt you could be at a house party. Dialogue, Stick Up! and Components are solo albums I go back to often, but his Mosaic Select box made a joyous farewell set this afternoon. To me, Hutcherson sounded like a kindred spirit to Dolphy, poetry twisting like golden threads through his improvisations.

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