Duke Pearson: The Right Touch LP (Blue Note Tone Poet Series)
Blue Note, 1967
Perhaps the perfect starting point for a reappraisal of Duke Pearson’s underrated career is his fantastic and aptly titled 1967 album The Right Touch. The album stands as perhaps the finest in Pearson’s discography and is a showcase of his sublime talents as a pianist, composer, and arranger. The Right Touch is comprised of six memorable Pearson compositions arranged for a dynamic 8-piece band featuring trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, trombonist Garnett Brown, alto saxophonist James Spaulding, alto saxophonist/flutist Jerry Dodgion, tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, bassist Gene Taylor, and drummer Grady Tate. Highlights of the set include the picante opener “Chili Peppers,” the lightly swinging “Make It Good” (a feature for Pearson’s elegant piano stylings), the exquisite bossa nova ballad “My Love Waits (O Meu Amor Espera)” on which Hubbard’s flugelhorn takes the lead, the down-home blues “Scrap Iron” which seems to have been custom made for Turrentine’s soulful tenor, and the whirling album closer “Rotary” which swings round and round as the soloists each make their emphatic closing statements.
Side AA1: Chili Peppers
A2: Make It Good
A3: My Love Waits (O Meu Amor Espera)
Side BB1: Los Malos Hombres
B2: Scrap Iron
This stereo Tone Poet Vinyl Edition was produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at Record Technology Inc. (RTI), and packaged in a deluxe gatefold tip-on jacket.