Joe Gordon (tp) Harold Land, Charlie Rouse (ts) Thelonious Monk (p) John Ore (b) Billy Higgins (d) recorded “The Blackhawk”, San Francisco, CA, April 29, 1960
East Coast meets West Coast for a session of high energy bop at San Francisco’s Blackhawk. Monk is spurred to play more in the groove by the hepcat audience, and his standard quartet featuring Charlie Rouse on tenor is augmented by another tenor, Harold Land, the most East-Coast of the West Coast tenors, and Joe Gordon on trumpet. Land is a more abrasive and hard-edge player than the lauded voice of LA, Art Pepper, and under-rated in my view. Land as leader has excellent work on the superbly pressed US Contemporary label.
Side two boasts classic Monk tunes in “Round about Midnight” and “Epistrophy” in an enthusiastic performance..
Vinyl: Riverside RLP 12-323 UK release
The pressing is UK 1st release on Riverside “blue reels” label, which rarely disappoint, with crisp bright top end and full punchy midrange and bass. The cover is in lovely condition – more than can be said of the grooves, very dusty to judge by the clogged stylus after only a few tracks, badly in need of a trip to the indispensable RCM car wash.