Hilton Ruiz – El Camino (1987) (featuring Dick Griffin and Sam Rivers)

Hilton Ruiz
El Camino (The Road)
1988 Novus 3024-1-N

A1 West Side Blues 6:42
A2 Come Dance With Me 8:25
A3 Sometimes I 6:26
B1 El Camino (The Road) 6:19
B2 Message From The Chief 1:54
B3 Eastern Vibrations 14:55

Recorded At – Uptown Chelsea Sound

Bass – Andy Gonzalez
Congas, Percussion – Jerry Gonzalez
Drums, Guiro – Steve Berrios
Guitar – Rodney Jones
Percussion, Congas – Jose Alexis Diaz
Piano, arrangements – Hilton Ruiz
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Sam Rivers
Timbales – Endel Dueno
Trombone, arrangements on A2 & A3 – Dick Griffin
Trumpet – Lew Soloff

Engineer – Tony May
Producer – Ed Michel
Liner Notes – Leonard Feather

Recorded October 15, 1987, Uptown Chelsea Sound, New York City.

LINEAGE: Novus 3024-1-N vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on very light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename. Transferred Summer 2017.


The blog has been way too quietly these last few weeks, as “real life” suddenly got real busy.  But it’s all good stuff for once, so it seems like a good moment to post this album that’s been in the queue for a while.  Plus it has nice liner notes from the late Leonard Feather which means I can keep my trap shut and let him do most of the talking. This is a tremendous sophomore album by the late, great pianist Hilton Ruiz, who played in Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s band among many others.  He brings some heavy weight to this session, which was recorded live to 2-track DAT.  The presence of  Lew Soloff on trumpet, along with fellow Kirk alum Dick Griffin (who contributes two compositions) and the brilliant Sam Rivers, pretty much insure you’re in for a great listen.  As Feather writes, it grabs your right at the beginning and doesn’t let go.  The closing number, the fourteen-minute Eastern Vibrations, is in a modal spiritual jazz vibe, and Hilton’s solo is off the hook, pushing into Cecil Taylor territory but never straying too far from the driving pulse of the tune.   Here, have a look at the liner notes:

 


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6 Comments

  1. This is great music, thank you! My favorite Ruiz album is his first one, released on Steeplechase in 1975, “Piano Man.” He died much too young at 54, a victim of what the police in New Orleans called an “accidental fall.” But here was a man with a black belt in karate, who was an exceptional physical specimen. It is unlikely that he died from a fall.

    • Yes, I saw he had a suspicious death but that info adds more grim light. I’ve heard his Steeplechase stuff but I might pick up one of the Inner City repressings from the 70s as they’re easier to find over here.

  2. Looking forward to hearing this for sure. Thank you Dr. Vibes!

  3. Or to put in another way, if it’s good enough for Leonard Feather it’s good enough for me! I used to look forward to reading Feather’s jazz review column in the LA Times back in the day.

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