An amazing record – bold, proud, and soulful – a set that we'd easily rank with any classic early 60s session on Blue Note – and for good reason too! This rare date is the debut as a leader for trumpeter Gene Shaw – also known as Clarence Shaw in an earlier history of work with Charles Mingus
– and it's an incredible blend of hardbop grooving with sharper-edged modern jazz ideals – an incredible blend that comes off beautifully on every track in the set! Shaw's probably best known for his late 50s work on the Charles Mingus
albums Tijuana Moods, East Coasting, and Modern Jazz Symposium Of Music & Poetry – but after a famous fight with Mingus
, Clarence "hid out" in Chicago and worked under the name of Gene – but soon made big waves on his own with tremendous work like this. (In the liner notes to the 1963 release of Tijuana Moods, in which Mingus
says that he loved Shaw, but can't get in touch with him anymore!) Every aspect of the record is superb – from the writing, to the rhythm section, to the incredibly well blown solos from trumpeter Shaw and tenorist Sherman Morrison – who himself is another vastly-overlooked talent in jazz. The rest of the group features James Taylor on piano, Sidney Robinson on bass, and Bernard Martin on drums – a totally crackling rhythm section who give most tunes a snapping sort of groove! Most tracks are originals, and titles include "Autum Walk", "Six Bits", "The Thing", "It's A Long Way", "AD's Blues", "Marj", and "Our Tune".