Although Phil Woods gets top billing on this Philology LP compilation of two mid-'60s broadcasts by DJ Alan Grant from the Half Note in New York City, he is only present on one of the two airchecks, with both groups led by tenor saxophonist Al Cohn. The first five tracks feature the two musicians with a rhythm section consisting of pianist Dave Frishberg, bassist Major Holley, and drummer Mousie Alexander. Both men shine in "Yardbird Suite," though there seems to be a bit of stumbling in the introduction to "It's a Wonderful World." Singer Jimmy Rushing is added for a rousing "Deed I Do," though the vocalist's microphone doesn't seem to be working too well, and the sound does improve a good bit in "I Want a Little Girl" and for a brisk, swinging "All of Me." The last six selections find Cohn with fellow tenor Zoot Sims and Richie Kamuca, along with Frishberg, bassist Tommy Potter, and drummer Mel Lewis. The three-reed front line opens with a hard-charging "Broadway," followed by a rapid-fire take of Lester Young's "Tickle Toe." Jimmy Rushing is again a special attraction, stealing the show with his effortless interpretation of "I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me," the loping "Every Day I Have the Blues," and his very own "Sent for You Yesterday," with his gravelly vocals backed by the shout chorus of the three tenor saxes. The only disappointing thing about this worthwhile release is the lack of liner notes.
Directly from the Half Note Review
by Ken Dryden