Walter Bishop, Jr. ‎– Cubicle

Muse Records ‎– MR 5151
Vinyl, LP, Promo


A1 Valley Land 6:34
A2 My Little Suede Shoes 4:50
A3 Those Who Chant 7:08
B1 Summertime 8:06
B2 Now, Now That You've Left Me 6:35
B3 Cubicle 4:12



Recorded at CI Recording, New York City - June 21, 1978.

Randy Brecker appears courtesy of Arista Records

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January 15, 2010

Walter Bishop Jr. Cubicle 1978
Muse 1978

01. 'Valley Land' - 6:34 - (W. Bishop Jr.)
02. 'My Little Suede Shoes' - 4:50 - (C.Parker)
03. 'Those Who Chant' - 7:08 - (W. Bishop Jr.)
04. 'Summertime' - 8:06 - (G. Gershwin - D. Heyward)
05. 'Now, Now That You've Left Me' - 6:35 - (M. Farber)
06. 'Cubicle' - 4:12 - (W. Bishop Jr.)

Bob Cranshaw , Mark Egan (tracks 1,4) -Bass [Fender]
Billy Hart -Drums
Joe Caro -Guitar
Walter Bishop, Jr. -Keyboards
Ray Mantilla -Percussion
Rene McLean -Saxophone (Alto, Soprano, Tenor)
Pepper Adams -Saxophone (Baritone)
Curtis Fuller -Trombone
Randy Brecker -Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Carmen Lundy (track 1) -Vocals

Production Details:
Producer, Arranged By - Mitch Farber
Engineer - Elvin Campbell
Art Direction, Photography - Hal Wilson

Recorded at CI Recording, New York City - June 21, 1978.
Randy Brecker appears courtesy of Arista Records

Walter Bishop, Jr.
Born: April 10, 1927 in New York, United States
Died: January 24, 1998 in New York, United States

Walter Bishop, Jr. was an American bop and hard bop jazz pianist.
He was the son of composer Walter Bishop, Sr.. In high school his friends included Kenny Drew, Sonny Rollins, and Art Taylor. He began his musical career after World War II, and played and recorded with Art Blakey, Charlie Parker, Oscar Pettiford, Kai Winding, Miles Davis, Jackie McLean, Curtis Fuller, Terry Gibbs, Clark Terry, Blue Mitchell, and Supersax. In the early 1960s he also led his own trio with Jimmy Garrison and G. T. Hogan. He continued performing into the 1990s. After studying at The Juilliard School with Hall Overton in the late 1960s, he taught music theory at colleges in Los Angeles in the 1970s. In 1983 he began teaching at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. He also wrote a book, A Study in Fourths, about jazz improvisation based on cycles of fourths and fifths. Several great tracks on this 1978 Muse album by keyboardist Walter Bishop Jr. , who's mostly on rhodes here and still has some of his Black Jazz flavors intact. "Cubicle" comes the year after his Muse album "Soul Village", and features similar instrumentation and some similar textures. It's also a nice clean piece of vinyl. There's still some rawness here - the album doesn't have 1978 slick arrangement/production values stamped all over it, even though the vast majority of these musicians seemed to be getting most of their work on CTI albums at the time. While then-ubiquitous pop/jazz session trumpeter Randy Brecker is here, his precision is nicely balanced with the more lyrical, loose work of trombonist Curtis Fuller, and saxophonists Rene McClean and Pepper Adams. Over the course of his solo career, Bishop tended to re-record different versions of songs by himself and others from one album to the next. "Cubicle" is no exception, with half of the tracks having appeared on previous albums in occasionally radically different forms. The opener "Valley Land" has rarely left my turntable since I acquired the record. Previously recorded as a piano trio instrumental on Bishop's 1974 "Valley Land" album, here it's beefed up into an energetic vocal track featuring a young Carmen Lundy in one of her first recordings. It sounds like a Strata-East track from earlier in the decade, perhaps from Billy Parker's Fourth World, or even like a Doug Carn vocal track, with Ray Mantilla's latin percussion working upfront. Check it out on the preview. (Also, check out a few different versions of Carmen Lundy singing the classic track "Time Is Love" over at Private Press). The album features Bishop's fourth recording of the standard "Summertime". He'd given blues-infused jazz readings of the track on 1963's "Walter Bishop Trio" and the 1964 recording on "Bish-Bash", then funked it up on his 1973 Black Jazz album "Keeper of my Soul", switching from piano to a harsh hammond organ that probably demanded a heavier backline than he had there. The "Cubicle" version of "Summertime" is his funkiest yet - Bishop switches to rhodes, and this time is ably supported by the ubiquitous Billy Hart on drums, great percussion from Ray Mantilla - who put out an excellent solo album the year before - and a nice dirty baritone solo from Pepper Adams. "Those Who Chant" receives a similar treatment to the version on 1973's 'Keeper Of My Soul', although the unison doubling of Joe Caro's guitar with Bishop's rhodes gives the melody a slight fusion edge (but thankfully not too much!). There's some nice rhodes solo work in the track as well - Bishop had just played acoustic in the earlier version. Caro's guitar work is generally in a restrained soul-jazz style, perhaps more suited to Bishop's work than Steve Khan's was on "Soul Village". "Now, Now That You've Left Me" is a bossa-tinged piece that recalls some of the tracks on "Soul Village", or perhaps some of Kenny Barron's work from the same period. It's written by the album's producer Mitch Farber, who later released an album called "Starclimber" (1982) on Muse. Bishop gives the rhodes treament to "My Little Suede Shoes" a favourite standard from his Charlie Parker days, and finally returns to his bop roots with an acoustic rendition of the title track "Cubicle", pre-cursing his return to a concentration on acoustic piano work that would follow this album.
Rick Ransom @