Recorded in the hey day of cool jazz, in the famous Van Gelder studios for the master of all jazz labels, Blue Note, and starring some of the big names of the time this is an album with an impressive pedigree. And it lives up to all expectations.
The original album was four extended cuts of superb cool jazz. In contrast to some of the other great albums of the time the feel of the album is a little more up tempo than usual, with some great swinging sets that really get you tapping your foot to the beat.
The rhythm section of Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones do superlative work in the background, laying down a rock steady beat for the soloists, Art Farmer on trumpet, Jackie McLean on sax and Sonny Clark on piano, to work around. Everyone really gets to stretch their legs, with all players given room to breathe and shine individually, but it is when they all come together that the magic is really in the air.
Included in this edition are two cuts, Royal Flush and Lover that did not make it onto the original album. These are worthy additions, and really add to the album. It must have been a tough choice when this was originally released, deciding which tracks had to be cut!
As with all the Rudy Van Gelder Edition series, I have found the remastering to be excellent, with my untutored ears finding a nice crisp sound and good separation when played on my stereo.