Although the original album notes by producer Orrin Keepnews understandably do not discuss the situation, this forceful on-the-job recording came into being as a last-minute emergency. Monk had been scheduled to make a sextet album as co-leader with West Coast-based star drummer Shelly Manne, but after two days' work, all concerned admitted that the chemistry wasn't there. The producer, reluctant to return to New York empty-handed, added Harold Land and Joe Gordon (brought up from Los Angeles for the abandoned project) to the Monk working group for one night. The almost-impromptu results, following quite brief rehearsal and tune-learning, are a triumph of jazz improvisation and a tribute to the unquenchable spirit of Thelonious Monk.
with Charlie Rouse, John Ore, Billy Higgins, Joe Gordon, Harold Land