It's a little-known fact that Memphis had a huge influence on the sound of late 50s/
early 60s soul jazz – probably because most of the city's best players had to leave and go either to Chicago or New York to make their name. This set's a great reminder of that fact, as it brings together an important batch of players, most of them only freshly departed from Memphis at the time of the session – an assemblage that includes Frank Strozier, Phineas Newborn
, Booker Little, Louis Smith, George Coleman, and Calvin Newborn
. The tracks are long open-ended blowing session tunes – very different than the usual format for just about every player involved, which also makes for quite a striking record. Titles include very long takes on "Blue N Boogie", "Star Eyes", "After Hours", and "Things Ain't What They Used To Be".
(Japanese King pressing. Cover has some light aging, mostly near the top.)