This CD reissue combines two long-available Prestige LPs by Bobby Timmons, Little Barefoot Soul and Chun-King. The first date was actually the pianist's debut for the label, and it nearly didn't take place at all. A quintet session suddenly turned into a trio with bassist Sam Jones and Ray Lucas, the latter a last minute substitution on drums. Although Timmons' jazz immortality was assured with his earlier hit "Moanin'," most of the originals sound as if they were written shortly beforehand and were still evolving. The standout among them is easily
"A Little Barefoot Soul," a piece which gets underway without the leader at all. But its catchy gospel flavor eventually gives way to a driving, bluesy hard bop setting. Timmons' solo interpretation of the spiritual "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" is another gem. The later 1964 session matches Timmons with bassist Keter Betts and drummer Tootie Heath and draws from a much wider range of material. The opener, "Chun-King," was co-written by Betts with Charlie Byrd and features an extensive bass solo. Timmons contributed two compositions, the gospel-inflected "Getting' It Togetha'" (with the call and response played by the pianist alone) and the happy, strutting, and very oddly titled blues "Walking Death." Rounding out the date are some very familiar works, including the bossa nova " "O Grande Amour" and the standards "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Timmons' fans will rejoice with the return of this long out of print music.