Andrew Hill’s funky yet lyrical piano playing and intricately beautiful compositions seized the attentions of Blue Note’s Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff. The pair recorded material for four LPs before the first, Black Fire, was released in 1963. 1965’s Point Of Departure was certainly a peak session for Hill, who was joined by an especially fine and simpatico band: Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Eric Dolphy (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Joe Henderson (tenor sax), Richard Davis (bass), and Tony Williams (drums). Hill cited Williams as an especially freeing force. And from the start there’s no doubt about the then 19-year-old’s contributions not simply as a timekeeper but as a truly musical drummer. Dolphy—certainly one of jazz’s most original voices—is another key, pushing the boundaries of musical expression throughout this five-track set, no matter what instrument he’s playing. But what makes tunes such as “Refuge,” “New Monastery,” and “Dedication” so memorable is the ensemble work of all involved. In sum: a seminal release from the Blue Note catalog. The sound is superb, with a large soundstage, striking immediacy, and terrific dynamic scaling, and the range of tone colors— from Dolphy alone—richly layered and gorgeous.