When the four quintet selections in this album from August 1954 were first issued on 10-inch LP, many writers did not see fit to acknowledge Rollin's incipient greatness and there was much callow carping from critical quarters. Musicians, who generally are able to recognize talent in their colleagues far more quickly, knew that Rollins was the new prodigy. With Art Blakey at the controls, there is adrenalin aplenty in the uptempo numbers which also spotlight Kenny Dorham and Elmo Hope. "Silk 'n' Satin," Rollins's interpretation of a number more associated with Hildegarde, is Sonny in all his balladic warmth. The October 1954 quartet session with Monk is more of Sonny's lyricism, allowed to expand in the recording-for-LP format, contrasted with Monk's spare but not less melodic inventions. "More Than You Know" is a classic wedding of two musical minds that should have met more often in the studio.
with Kenny Dorham, Elmo Hope, Thelonious Monk, Percy Heath, Tommy Potter, Art Blakey, Arthur Taylor