Although somewhat forgotten today, Herbie Harper was one of jazz's top trombonists of the 1950s. Even with the time he spent doing studio work, Harper was closely involved in the West Coast jazz movement in Los Angeles. This CD, whose music is also available as part of Fresh Sound's three-CD Complete Nocturne Recordings Vol. 1, has Harper's two Nocturne dates, including the earliest session cut by the label. Harper is heard on a delightfully swinging set with baritonist Bob Gordon, pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Harry Babasin and drummer Roy Harte, and on two other sessions with Babasin, Harte and sometimes Bud Shank (on tenor and baritone rather than alto and flute), guitarist Al Hendrickson and/or pianist Marty Paich. The music includes cool renditions of swing-era songs, a few newer originals, and some offbeat material. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow