Standout Track: A day To Mourn (Ervin) An emotionally charged ballad written shortly after the assassination of JFK.
Booker Ervin (ts) Jaki Byard (p) Richard Davis (b) Alan Dawson (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, December 3, 1963
Considered the pinnacle of Ervins “Book” series Blues, Space and Freedom. Booker Ervin and Jaki Byard both veterans of Mingus, have paid their dues, and play edgy modern bop superb. Booker delivers a Coltrane-like biting tone at times, and his tenor voice is very compelling. Sadly he died at the age of only forty, in 1970.
Vinyl: Prestige PR 7295
US original press, on hissy vinyl, thanks to Bob Weinstock’s imfamous penny-pinching business approach. If I were looking for this album again I would look for UK Transatlantic or Prestige later pressing on Blue/Silver Trident as preferrable.
I confess I was seduced by the superb cover, in flagrant disregard of the recently-discovered dangers of tertiary cigarette smoke, the increased health risk associated with looking at pictures of people smoking.
“Rare!!” Hard to find, with the “wrong label” – Roy Haynes “Cracklin” – the right catalogue number for Booker Ervin, but wrong leader and track titles on side one. Someone was having a bad day at the record pressing plant. Cracklin’ was released on New Jazz NJ 8286
Auditioning the record in-store I failed to pick up the hissy vinyl, it sounded “normal” but fortunately it is a busy album with few quiet passages where the recycled vinyl sound is obtrusive. Weinstock has a lot to answer for, compromising too many ’60s Prestige titles with recycled vinyl, unforgivable.