Bobby Hutcherson. Joey DeFrancesco, David Sanborn and Billy Hart, “Enjoy the View” (Blue Note). In this, Bobby Hutcherson’s return to Blue Note (where, arguably, he did the best work of his life in past decades), you don’t have to be a genius to perceive that Blue Note’s current honcho Don Was wanted to paint the disc a basic shade of blue. You don’t put David Sanborn and Joey DeFrancesco on a date because you want to explore outer reaches of jazz ambition. The result will only be disturbing to a Hutcherson orthodoxy that remembers Hutcherson Blue Notes like the gorgeous “The View from Inside” and the quartet record “Happenings” with Herbie Hancock, which has the finest single version of Hancock’s tune “Maiden Voyage” that the composer/pianist ever recorded with anyone.
The new jazz atmosphere needs Hammond B-3 basics and jazz/R&B saxophonists to be security for Hutcherson’s always brilliant vibraphone. But there’s a lot more color here than just basic blue – so much so that it will be a kick to hear who they put him with next. It turns out that these four musicians playing in a foursome for the first time are very compatible indeed. ∆∆∆ (Jeff Simon)