A seminal early recording from one of our favorite reed players ever! In the late 1950s, the young Frank Strozier came up to Chicago from Memphis, along with his longtime friend, pianist Harold Mabern. The two of them both settled nicely in the city's MJT+3 combo, where they proceeded to recorde some incredible hardbop sessions for Vee Jay
. During that same time, Strozier began to emerge as a strong soloist and a competent leader in his own right, and Vee Jay
gave him a much-needed crack at this debut album. The session's a perfect showcase for Strozier's lyrical beauty, and given the quality of the work, it's a wonder he was never more famous. The group's a quintet, and Strozier's ably teamed with Booker Little, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb. Titles include "WK Blues", "Waltz Of The Demons", "Runnin", and "Off Shore".
(Rainbow label pressing, with deep groove. Cover has a light wear, a small split on the top seam, and mostly split bottom seam.)