Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hank Marr - Sounds From the Marr-Ket Place

Columbus, Ohio jazz organist Hank Marr (1927-2004) had a long career, and made many records for the King label, based in that city. This one, with its awful punning title and baffling drawing of the New Orleans French Quarter on the cover, is extremely interesting for the personnel. Most discographies state that the personnel for this 1964 album is unknown, but in recent years the jazz world has figured out that this record represents the first recorded appearances of tenor saxophonist George Adams and guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer.

Adams and Ulmer gained prominence in the 1970s as fiery musicians who managed to blend avant-garde tendencies with influences from their bluesy R & B backgrounds. While neither Adams nor Ulmer was fully developed stylistically by 1964, their distinctive sounds were already in place. And Adams betrays himself with a few licks that he was still using 20 and 30 years later.

Sounds From the Marr-Ket Place is solid soul-jazz, with a few tracks which are more overtly R & B. Someone has put the entire album on YouTube; given its rarity, I'll share it here.

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