Boy, they just don’t make ‘em like this guy anymore. Tenorist Don Wilkerson cut his teeth with the likes of Ray Charles and BB King, and you can tell it on this 1960 set with a pungent Nat Adderly/ct, Barry Harris/p, Sam Jones/Leroy Vinnegar/b and Billy Higgins/dr. He’s got a greasy sound that drips R&B, and he fits it into this pop-the-clutch set of hard bop burners that feels like a 6 Flags Roller Coaster Ride. Wilkerson blisters on the title track and “Idiom”
while Adderley gushes like a geyser throughout. The rhythm section…TH E RHYTHM SECTION!!! You better hold on tight with these guys, as you’re going to feel some G forces on this disc. Even “Easy To Love” is taken at a formidable clip. Raise your hands and ride down the shaft!
Don Wilkerson's recording debut, The Texas Twister, was produced by Cannonball Adderley, an auspicious event for the 27-year-old tenor saxophonist from Houston. An early bloomer, Wilkerson played with rhythm and blues bands led by Amos Milburn and Charles Brown while in his teens. At 21, he led a band in Miami, worked off and on in the mid-Fifties with Ray Charles, and played with Adderley in jam sessions. Cannonball liked what he heard and made Wilkerson's album one of his early projects when he began producing for Riverside. Nat Adderley, Barry Harris, and Sam Jones from Cannonball's own band joined Wilkerson on some pieces, Leroy Vinnegar and Billy Higgins on others. Steeped in the Southwest tenor tradition of muscle and forthrightness but also finely attuned to post-bop developments, Wilkerson fit right in with these top-flight veterans.
with Nat Adderley, Barry Harris, Leroy Vinnegar, Sam Jones, Billy Higgins