This date, rather brief at under 28 minutes, originally appeared as a 10" LP in the U.S., although it was recorded in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. It features Jutta Hipp leading an all-German quintet through a session consisting mostly of American standards, including "Variations," an enjoyable group improvisation based on the chord changes to "Tea for Two." Alto saxophonist Emil Mangelsdorff has a soft, dry tone comparable to Paul Desmond, most noticeable in "Ghost of a Chance." Tenor saxophonist Jaki Freund's "Cleopatra"'s sound could easily be mistaken for West Coast jazz. Hipp is joined by the rhythm section only for the intriguing fugue-like treatment of "What's New" and a brisk run through "Don't Worry 'Bout Me." She also wrote "Mon Petit," which has superb interplay between the two saxophonists. This reissue is labeled as part of the RVG series, though legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder's name is never specifically listed in English anywhere in the packaging, he evidently did the remastering. Long out of print on LP and an unlikely reissue candidate for Blue Note due to its brevity and obscurity, this session was briefly available as a CD reissue through the Japanese label Toshiba-EMI, but was soon deleted. The Spanish Fresh Sounds imprint picked it up and re-released it as part of its New Faces series.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden