Music Musings: Mozart, Hutcherson and James Birthdays and more….

On this 28th day of January we can celebrate the birthdays of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756), vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson (1941) and blues legend Elmore James (1918). I imagine that their will be more folks celebrating the birthday of Mr Mozart than Mr Hutcherson or  James. And that may be because according to WQRX..

Mozart is arguably the most-recorded composer in the classical canon, with an estimated 10,000 recordings in print. This makes building a Mozart library a particularly daunting task. But we’re here to give you a hand.

Eine Kleine NachtmusikIn 2013 the station declared November the month of  Mozart and on each weekday the station  had a post about the 20 Essential Mozart recordings. You can check out the final list here. Right now I’m listening to  number 6 –Chamber Music: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik/Divertimento K. 136/A Musical Joke from Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner, conductor and enjoying it!

Back to the two musicians celebrating their birthdays that appear in my music library Bobby Hutcherson and Elmore James. Jazz and Blues perfect together! Hutcherson through the years has been considered one of the most inventive and influential vibraphonists in jazz  today! From Wikipedia….

AllMusic contributor Steve Huey stated that Hutcherson’s “free-ringing, open chords and harmonically advanced solos were an important part of Dolphy’s 1964 masterwork Out to Lunch!,” and called Dialogue a “classic of modernist post-bop,” declaring Hutcherson “one of jazz’s greatest vibraphonists.” Huey went on to say: “along with Gary Burton, the other seminal vibraphone talent of the ’60s, Hutcherson helped modernize his instrument by redefining what could be done with it – sonically, technically, melodically, and emotionally. In the process, he became one of the defining (if underappreciated) voices in the so-called “new thing” portion of Blue Note’s glorious ’60s roster  Read More

Components Bobby HutchersonEarlier this morning I listened to Bobby Hutcherson’s 1965 release Components. The album was an Album Pick at AllMusic. Hutcherson’s band mates on the album include:  Herbie Hancock on piano, James Spaulding on alto sax and flute, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, and Ron Carter on bass. It doesn’t get better than that folks!! Needless to say the album was great!! Here are links to other posts I’ve written about Bobby Hutcherson. Here and Here.

I haven’t listened to any Elmore James’ music this morning and since it’s now afternoon I guess I won’t. Here’s a link to a birthday post about this very influential blues artist. James may have  affected my music library more than any other blues artist.  So I will have to give his music a listen later in the day.

But for now let’s say Happy Birthday to Mozart, Hutcherson and James and listen to “Components” the title track of Bobby Hutcherson’s 1965 release.  After I first listened to this track I went scurrying to AllMusic to see who was playing trumpet – ah – the great Freddie Hubbard!