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By the time drummer Pete La Roca recorded his debut album Basra in 1965 he had already appeared on 9 Blue Note sessions as a sideman and spent time in bands led by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. But it was another tenor titan, Joe Henderson, that La Roca brought in as the sole horn voice to front a dynamic quartet that was completed by what liner note writer Ira Gitler called “one of the most attuned rhythm sections in jazz” featuring bassist Steve Swallow and pianist Steve Kuhn. The resulting album is one of the great underrated gems of the Blue Note catalog featuring an expansive 6-track set that includes 3 compositions by La Roca (“Basra” “Candu” “Tears Come from Heaven”), Swallow’s tune “Eiderdown,” “Malagueña” by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, and a stunning ballad performance of the standard “Lazy Afternoon.”
This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.