With a reputation as one of the originators of cool jazz, it's ironic that over the years tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh gained a following of musicians mainly associated with the avant-garde, spearheaded by multi-reedist Anthony Braxton. These musicians heard what this disc demonstrates: that cool didn't always mean smoothed out. Originally issued in 1957, Music for Prancing is Marsh's second session as a leader with pianist Ronnie Ball, Red Mitchell on bass, and Stan Levey on drums. The quartet performs four standards such as the usually subdued Rodgers & Hart ballad "You Are Too Beautiful," which they make swing, and two originals: Ball's "Ad Libido" and Marsh's "Playa del Ray." A strong CD reissue on the budget label VSOP.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell