Charlie Rouse's debut as a leader (not counting his earlier work co-leading Les Jazz Modes with the great French horn player Julius Watkins) was made for Jazzland and is available as an OJC CD. The distinctive tenor saxophonist, who had just started a decade-long stint as a member of the Thelonious Monk Quartet, teams up with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Walter Bishop, Jr., bassist Earl May, and drummer Art Taylor. Together they perform straight-ahead material including Rouse's own uptempo "Upptankt," the standard "They Didn't Believe Me," and songs by Mitchell, Kenny Drew, and Randy Weston. A fine modern mainstream jam session-flavored set.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow