Thursday, August 17, 2006
Tina Brooks - Back To The Tracks
Album - Back To The Tracks
Recorded - 1960
Those of you who've been reading for a while will know how much of a Tina Brooks fan i am. Very few tenormen have come close to the easy virtuosity of Harold Floyd Brooks. He recorded only a handful of times, with only 3 records as leader being released in his lifetime. 'Back To The Tracks' comes from the album of the same name, one of the many great 'lost' Blue Note LPs. This 1960 recording was slated to come out at the time and even had a catalogue number (4052) and sleeve. For some reason the release was pulled and the record didn't see the light of day until it came out in Japan in the early 1980s. I've previously written about another blue note release, Jimmy Smith's Cool Blues, that also suffered a similar fate (Brooks is featured on that LP, too). I was lucky enough to track down a recent vinyl repressing which sounds fantastic.
What marks this LP out from other Brooks releases on Blue Note is the presence of the hugely talented Jackie McLean on alto; 'Back To The Tracks' is an umptempo blues that nicely demonstrates the similarities between Brooks' and McLean's styles. Both are natural virtuosos, and despite the quick pace both create a sense of spaciousness in their playing that makes it sound easy. You know that muscians making a piece sound as easy as that just has to be very, very difficult.