Some great new reissues
Stereophile|January 2021
For jazz fans, a new batch of releases in Blue Note’s Tone Poet series—vinyl reissues remastered with care and cut from the original analog tapes—is the reason for celebration.
JIM AUSTIN

Fortunately, the batches come frequent-ly. The latest releases, as I write in late October 2020, are very solid, musically and sonically.

Herbie Hancock’s reputation, at least with me and I think generally, is as a pianist of great versatility, which is to say, he is all over the place stylistically. That’s true on My Point of View, Hancock’s second record as a leader, which veers from soul-jazz (with Grant Green on guitar on several tracks, including “Blind Man, Blind Man” and the final track, “And What If I Don’t”), to modal jazz (at least it sounds modal to me; I’m thinking of “King Cobra” here) and to straight-ahead hard bop. All six cuts are Hancock compositions. I’m a sucker for that 1960s groove, so for me, the supersimple, unpretentious soul-jazz tracks are the record’s highlights.

Like most Blue Notes of its era, My Point of View was first issued in mono; it is reissued here in stereo. As for sonics, there’s some variation from track to track; “A Tribute to Someone” sounds very fine indeed. On other tracks, the sound is slightly fuzzy, a little hooded. In general, the horns come off well, especially Donald Byrd’s trumpet. The piano is less muffled than it sometimes is on Rudy Van Gelder recordings. Chuck Israels’s bass is balanced well— prominent—but also a little wooly: Some things even mastering engineer Kevin Gray can’t fix. The vinyl is flat, clean, and quiet.

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