Al Sears first made his mark with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra, where he followed Ben Webster in 1943 as the featured tenor saxophonist. After writing the popular "Castle Rock" for Johnny Hodges in 1951, he became extremely successful in more commercial styles, both as a soloist and as a music publisher. This album, his belated debut as a leader, finds him in a more reflective mood, still placing primary emphasis on the blues (five of eight titles) yet showing levels of subtlety and imagination that would have been out of place in his more typical R&B and rock settings. While the supporting band is not filled with stars, it provides an extremely felicitous setting for Sears to play in, and guitarist Wally Richardson and pianist Don Abney are particularly effective on Abney’s "Ain’t No Use."
with Don Abney, Wally Richardson, Wendell Marshall, Joe Marshall