Grachan Moncur III, Evolution

Phil Freeman

By Phil Freeman

on 07.19.11 in Reviews

Evolution (Rudy Van Gelder Edition)

Grachan Moncur III

This trombonist made two albums for Blue Note, and appeared on several more with creative partner Jackie McLean. Evolution kicks off with “Air Raid,” a piece with a title implying uptempo blare; it’s actually a moody, cryptic number, with the three horns (including trumpeter Lee Morgan) bolstered by Bobby Hutcherson’s vibes, Bob Cranshaw’s bass and Tony Williams (still calling himself “Anthony”) on drums. The album’s title track doesn’t swing so much as surge and recede over a slow drone and creepy tinkling from Hutcherson. “The Coaster” is this weird, arty band’s attempt at a hard bop “hit,” and it almost works.