When Barry Harris recorded this album for Prestige in 1967, the controversy surrounding the jazz avant-garde and the emerging fusion of jazz and rock made the pianist's loyalty to the music of Bud Powell and Charlie Parker appear somewhat old-fashioned. Harris has always been true to his own muse and high musical standards, however, and time has proven that modern jazz of his stripe never goes out of date. For his first album as leader of a sextet, Harris spotlighted Slide Hampton, Junior Cook, and Pepper Adams, three power players who explode on the pianist's originals and two Powell classics. They also perform the richly concentrated arrangements with deep feeling, and provide a cushion for two brief ballad tracks that find Harris equally convincing in a romantic mood. This is one of the great overlooked sessions of the Sixties, proof that even during its commercial decline bebop lived.
with Pepper Adams, Junior Cook, Slide Hampton, Bob Cranshaw, Lenny McBrowne