Amazing later work from Booker Ervin – far more modern and far-reaching than you'd guess from the "Texas" title in the set! Although Ervin first came onto the scene as a strong-voiced tenorist from a Texas tradition, through the course of the 60s he'd really expanded his musical vision – working with Charles Mingus, Jaki Byard, and others to push his already-soulful sound into a freer-thinking mode that was one of the most compelling approaches to tenor at the time. And while this change had been documented on some key sides for Prestige and World Pacific at the time, this rare 1968 session for Blue Note is perhaps one of the best of the bunch – but oddly was somehow never issued at the time, and only made a brief appearance in 1976, as part of a 2LP set. Ervin's working here with a totally hip group – one that has Woody Shaw in the frontline on trumpet, and a rhythm team of Kenny Barron
on piano, Jan Arnet on bass, and Bill
y Higgins on drums – all grooving with Ervin in styles that recall the modal vamping and soaring energy that Shaw would later bring to his own solo work in the 70s. Tracks are all longish, and filled with a sense of life and exploration that shows that Ervin was growing tremendously in this last stretch of his all-too-short life – never too free, always in control, yet roaming the skies in search of new notes and sounds! Titles include "Gichi", "Den Tex", "Lynn's Tune", "204", and an early version of Shaw's "In A Capricornian Way".
(BMG music club pressing.)