Clifford Jordan was coming into his own as an important and individualistic post-bop tenor saxophonist when, in 1961, he recorded the two LPs paired here. A Story Tale is the closer of the two to a red-blooded blowing session, with Jordan (1931-1993) co-billed with alto saxophonist Sonny Red (born Sylvester Kyner; 1932-1981), who wrote five of the album's eight tunes. They're strongly backed by a rhythm section that's headed by either Tommy Flanagan or Ronnie Mathews on piano and propelled by drummer Elvin Jones. Starting Time remains a high point of Jordan's career on disc. He's on the front line with the insuperable trumpeter-composer Kenny Dorham (whose "Windmill" turns briskly on "Sweet Georgia Brown"'s changes), pushed by a rhythm section keyed by pianist Cedar Walton, composer of the complex, driving "Mosaic," now a minor classic, which debuted here. Jordan's lovely "Down Through the Years" could also describe the lengthy, close musical relationship he enjoyed with Walton.
with Kenny Dorham, Cedar Walton, Wilbur Ware, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Sonny Red, Tommy Flanagan, Ronnie Mathews, Art Davis, Elvin Jones