Anyone who's ever looked through Michael Cuscuna and Michel Ruppli's Blue Note discography inevitably wonders what many of the sessions labeled "unissued" or "rejected" sound like. This anthology is full of fascinating tracks worthy of release, starting with Charlie Rouse's "One for Five," on which the tenor saxophonist leads a fine quintet that includes McCoy Tyner and Freddie Hubbard. Collectors have long awaited the release of the four tracks from an abandoned date by Tadd Dameron, since there's a paucity of material available featuring him as leader and pianist. The octet's performances of Sam Rivers' lively, gospel-flavored "The Elder Speaks" and Dameron's ominous "Lament for the Living" aren't flawless but are well worth hearing. Pianist Duke Pearson's quartet is featured on three tracks, with tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec contributing a soulful solo on "For All We Know." The individual tracks led by Quebec, Sonny Stitt, Fred Jackson, and Herbie Hancock aren't quite as successful but are still enjoyable. Since this is a limited-edition release, don't pass up the brief opportunity to acquire this long-overlooked and very rare music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden