I won’t review the whole LP here, which is phenomenal (I currently own a digital copy that sounds great and I’m also considering a Japanese “mini-LP” CD). I was surprised to learn from the back of the album jacket that Tom Dowd did not record this. It was recorded by an engineer named Frank Abbey, who I admittedly know nothing about. Abbey gets an even, dry sound — both qualities of which I think are present on most of my favorite jazz recordings.
The music, generally sweet and quiet, was written by Phil Sunkel, another guy I didn’t know about until I started researching this album. He wrote both sides here and seven out of nine songs on the album. I find it especially interesting (and tragic of course) that a relatively lesser-known composer like Sunkel could pen an album of such cohesive quality yet fail to have many more impressive credits to their name.
Fun fact: Tony Fruscella was one of the earliest musicians to record at Rudy Van Gelder’s Hackensack home studio. According to my research, I have him recording there as early as January 30, 1952 for a Bill Triglia session (who plays piano here as well). Another fun fact: I have been through Rudy’s collection of acetates and he still has the acetate from that session, so there’s a good chance that the world will hear it at some point! This would technically be the fifth-oldest recording of Rudy’s we would have.