The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band was an exciting group, though infrequently recorded, but this Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Sextet date has a much different character. The percussion of Joe Harris, the vibes and bongos of Fats Sadi, and Sahib Shihab's flute are the dominant instruments, providing the calypso flavor that makes up most of the music in this 1965 studio session. Unfortunately, the persistent, and often overly loud, percussion drowns out the piano and flute all too often, and there is a certain sameness and predictability from one track to the next. The music ranges from Latin classics like "Tin Tin Deo" and "Con Alma" to standards like "Invitation" that suffer from the excessive percussion. More successful are the bongo-free tracks, especially those featuring bassist Jimmy Woode's fine vocals, including "Lush Life" and "Born to Be Blue" (though the vocal on the latter is plagued with a distracting echo). This rather uneven CD has some strong points, but unless one is a serious collector of the recordings that Clarke and Boland made together, it can be safely bypassed.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden