180-gram pure virgin vinyl limited edition audiophile LP.
Herbie's Blue Note debut features the incomparable horn duo of Freddy Hubbard and Dexter Gordon (both at their creative peaks), blowing out Hancock's angular, bluesy tunes with passion and finesse.
The album kicks off with the classic "Watermelon Man" (later covered to big success by Mongo Santamaria and then re-invented by Hancock on the "Manhunter" LP), the songs are largely uptempo hard-bop until closing with the sparkling, late-night ballad "Alone and I." The pianist's forays into experimentation (so much a part of his legend later in his career) are displayed in the strange rhythm section solos and the lack of thematic resolution on "The Maze" or the 32-bar broken phrasing on "Three Bags Full."
The sound is pure early-60's Rudy Van Gelder: muted piano, in-your-face horns and rhythm section in your living room.
This is cut with striking realism and incredible detail. Using an original master tape means the soundstage will not be folded-in like many Van Gelder issues. The wide, luxurious sound is very appealing.
"Pleasures abound." - Wayne Garcia, Absolute Sound Magazine, August 2007