Two excellent early Clifford Jordan albums, Starting Time and A Story Tale, are reissued in full on this single CD. Jordan, whose sound was just beginning to become quite distinctive in 1961, is heard with a quintet also including trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, and on a set with altoist Sonny Red, Tommy Flanagan or Ronnie Mathews on piano, bassist Art Davis, and drummer Elvin Jones. With the exception of four selections, all 16 tunes are group originals. Best-known are Walton's "Mosaic" and "One Flight Down," but all of the music is high-quality hard bop. Dorham and Red are both in excellent form, constantly challenging Jordan. Fine if formerly obscure music.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow