Prior to getting this album I had never listened to saxophonist Ernie Henry, but I knew the musicians working with him–Kenny Dorham (tp), Kenny Drew (p), Wilbur Ware (bs), and Art Taylor (dr)–great company for sure. With a group like that expected to enjoy it and I wasn’t let down at all. It’s an excellent set made up largely of tunes written by the leader. Henry’s alto playing is certainly grounded in the bebop tradition, but he had his own thing happening and this record sits nicely in small group post-bop style I’ve been enjoying lately.
Recorded in August 1956, this was the first of three LP’s Henry recorded shortly before his death the following year at the age of 31. At first glance I thought this was an original mono pressing, but further research revealed that this is an early one, but not the first. The first pressing of this release has the white Riverside label.
(Details: Riverside RLP 12-222/mono/deepgroove/”reels”/”Bill Grauer Inc.”)