Personnel: Ray Draper (tuba); John Coltrane (saxophone); Gil Coggins, Spanky De Brest; Larry Ritchie.
Personnel: Ray Draper (tuba); John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Gil Coggins (piano); Larry Ritchie (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Phil DeLancie.
Liner Note Author: Ira Gitler.
Recording information: Hackensack, NJ (12/20/1957); Nj (12/20/1957).
Photographer: Esmond Edwards.
Ray Draper was only 17 when he led this date (all four of his sessions as a leader were made before he turned 20) and was brave (or foolhardy) enough to team up with tenor saxophonist John Coltrane (who was 14 years older and already a major name) in a quintet also including pianist Gil Coggins, bassist Spanky DeBrest, and drummer Larry Ritchie. Draper had ambitious dreams of making the tuba a major jazz solo instrument; the tuba/tenor front line is an unusual and generally successful sound, although Draper's solos on this reissue -- on three of his originals: Sonny Rollins' "Paul's Pal," the show tune "Under Paris Skies," and a tuba feature without Coltrane, "I Hadn't Anyone Till You" -- are clearly not on the same level as those of Coltrane or Coggin. One does admire Draper's courage, and it is a pity that he hardly recorded at all after 1960 because he had strong potential. ~ Scott Yanow