Hubert Laws – Crying Song (1969/2016) [e-Onkyo FLAC 24/192]

Hubert Laws – Crying Song (1969/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 33:56 minutes | 1,31 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: e-Onkyo | Front Cover | © CTI Records
Recorded: July 23 (#4,5), 24 (#1,2,6,9), 1969 at American Sound Studios, Memphis, Tennessee; September 23 (#3), 24 (#7,8), 1969 at Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Crying Song is an album by jazz flautist Hubert Laws released on the CTI label featuring performances of popular music (including songs by The Beatles and Pink Floyd) by Laws recorded in Memphis with Elvis Presley’s rhythm section and at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio.

Hubert Laws occupies rather an ambivalent position in critical estimation. He was very unusual in concentrating on the flute but signing for Creed Taylor and his band of Memphis Soul specialists should have orientated him squarely in the vanguard of late 1960s Jazz. If the precedent was another elite flautist, Herbie Mann – who’d already had a hit single for Atlantic – then the decision was sound. But this album, made 1969, didn’t seem somewhat incongruous stylistically at the time – and he did, to many people – he certainly do today.
That’s not to denigrate Laws, whose tone is utterly ravishing throughout, but the attempt in the first album, Crying Song, to construct a pop album with fringe Memphis and Country Soul stylings was never going to satisfy the purists. Others, such as Keith Jarrett and Gary Burton, were naturally situated along Country Roads and their albums of the late 60s showed strong affinities for the genre within a broader musical context. But Laws’ first album, despite the presence of stellar sidemen such as Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, and on several tracks George Benson – along with a raft of other superb players – fails to cohere. Country Soul, the Monkees, mild Psychedelia, the Bee Gees and Lennon/McCartney with sitar impersonations; well, it’s a big ask for much of this to stand the sterner tests of time. –Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

Tracklist:
1 La Jean 2:30
2 Love Is Blue / Sing A Rainbow 3:20
3 Crying Song 4:50
4 Listen To The Band 3:20
5 I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You 3:05
6 Feelin’ Alright? 2:30
7 Cymbaline 3:55
8 How Long Will It Be? 5:50
9 Let It Be 3:30

Personnel:
Hubert Laws – flute
Bobby Wood – piano (#1,2,4-6,9)
Bobby Emmons – organ (#1,2,4-6,9)
Bob James – electric piano, organ (#3,7,8)
George Benson (#3,7,9), Reggie Young (#1,2,4-6,9) – guitar
Mike Leech – electric bass (#1,2,4-6,9)
Ron Carter – bass (#3,7,8)
Gene Chrisman (#1,2,4-6,9), Billy Cobham (#3), Grady Tate (#7,8) – drums
Ernie Royal, Marvin Stamm – trumpet, flugelhorn (#1,2,4-6,9)
Garnett Brown, Tony Studd – trombone (#1,2,4-6,9)
Art Clarke, Seldon Powell – saxophone (#1,2,4-6,9)
Ed Shaughnessy – tabla, sand blocks (#6)
Lewis Eley, Paul Gershman, George Ockner, Gene Orloff, Raoul Pollikoff, Matthew Raimondi, Sylvan Shulman, Avram Weiss – violin (#1,2)
Charles McCracken, George Ricci – cello (#1,2)
Bob James, Glen Spreen, Mike Leech – arranger

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