Personnel: Hampton Hawes (piano); Monk Montgomery (bass); Steve Ellington (drums).
Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on February 17, 1964. Originally released on Contemporary (7614). Includes liner notes by Lester Koenig.
Digitally remastered by Gary Hobish (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Pianist Hampton Hawes' first recording after serving five years in prison finds Hawes evolving a bit from a Bud Powell-influenced bop pianist to one familiar with more modern trends in jazz. Reissued on CD, this trio date finds Hawes interacting closely with bassist Monk Montgomery and drummer Steve Ellington (making his recording debut). Hawes had lost nothing of his swinging style while in prison, as can be heard on such numbers as "Vierd Blues," "St. Thomas" and "Secret Love," and he was just starting to hint at moving beyond bop. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow