I put this CD in player recently having neglected it for a while. What a lovely surprise! This album is the living embodiment of critics like to call 'straight ahead' jazz. In other words, a no frills, swinging, accent on solos, affair. That sounds all a bit demeaning. The playing of course is top of the line,not only because of the leaders efforts but also the presence of the stellar backing band in the form of Jimmy Cobb,Paul Chambers and Tommy Flannagan.The tunes are memorable even if they fall short of classic status. This session was recorded in 1958 and still sounds alive, warm and vibrant.
Burrell is a brilliant guitarist- ever tasteful, always ready with a swinging idea or two but never guilty of overplaying or dependence on signature licks. He has taken the jazz -blues style of Charlie Christian and added his own indefinable but instantly recognizable 'thing'. In a way, he is the reason why this session works so well, simply because on tracks like the perky album opener 'Freight Trane' he more keeps up with Coltrane in the solo stakes but also has sense to lay back when required. John Coltrane plays with his usual combination of great tone,passion and technical facility.He responds beautifully to Burrell's sense of restraint and economy,so that he too remains disciplined and focused on the overall group sound.Proof of this comes in the ballad 'Why Was I Born',an outstanding example of how well the pair work together. Coltrane plays the melody with all the feeling he has at his command, whilst Kenny plays tasteful little fills to support his co-principle. Absolutely stunning!
O.K , it is not by any means the most essential disc in either man's output, but it is very nice to get it the CD player on occasion. Friends who have heard this set, often comment on just what a great listen it is, I think you'll find likewise!