Drummer Dave Bailey's third and final LP for Epic is a quintet session that is much like his earlier two sextet dates for the label, with an invited audience witnessing the studio recording. He has a completely new supporting cast, including two very underappreciated musicians: the tragically short-lived tenor saxophonist Frank Haynes and trumpeter Bill Hardman. Also on hand are the veteran bassist Ben Tucker and the somewhat-obscure pianist Billy Gardner. Tucker's "Comin' Home Baby" is probably better known for the vocal version with lyrics by singer Bob Dorough, but evidently the music came first, as this instrumental version swings hard and doesn't have the rock flavor that Dorough's (and other later vocal) versions have. Haynes' big-toned tenor sax and Hardman's muted trumpet are the highlights of the relaxed but brisk swinger "Two Feet in the Gutter." Frank Foster's "Shiny Stockings," written for Count Basie and a jazz standard, has an economical swinging piano solo by young pianist Gardner that is at times economical à la Basie and at other times has the block-chord feeling of Red Garland. Tucker also contributed "Coffee Walk," a tasty mid-tempo blues. While this record is just a notch beneath Dave Bailey's earlier dates for Epic -- One Foot in the Gutter and Gettin' into Somethin' -- it is definitely worth picking up.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden