This is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Ike's tone, breathy yet virile, is set against the unusually spare backing of guitar, bass and drums, and to stunning effect. The recording quality is spectacular (as it was on vinyl), and if you close your eyes the musicians are in the room with you. Grant Green's guitar work is relaxed, perfectly judged, and never competes for space.
I much prefer this line-up to the organ-based arrangements of some of his other recordings. Apparently his story is one tragically familiar in jazz, dying young and leaving too little. In one sense this album defines saxophone jazz, in another it transcends genre. It's purely *music*, lyrical, sad, and occasionally full of lively spirit. It's been a personal favourite of mine for many years, and I frequently find myself humming his solos, and hearing that unique tone in my head. In fact, I'm going to stop writing this and listen to it again. This is music that will last you your lifetime.
Thanks, Ike, wherever you are.