Spanning roughly a decade of Bobby Hutcherson's work from 1965-1976, Best of the Blue Note Years' collection does a fine job of showing off the vibraphonist's varied hard bop approach. With his somewhat hypnotic reinvention of Milt Jackson's blues 'n' bop vibe style in full view, Hutcherson navigates through complex swing ("Blues Mind Matter"), modal explorations ("Shame Shame"), wah-wah funk ("Ummh"), and Afro-Cuban cookers ("Roses Poses"). Along the way, he finds time for some rarefied blues on Andrew Hill's "Ghetto Lights" and nicely plies a minor-mood bossa groove with his own "'Till Then." And chipping in are the stellar likes of McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Harold Land, Billy Higgins, and Reggie Workman, among many others. Along with a more aggressive reissue program for his classics Blue Note discs, this Hutcherson roundup goes a long way in framing the career of one of modern jazz's key figures.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook