Intensity marked everything that Booker Ervin played. In his harmonic concept, slashing attack, and broad Texas sound, Ervin demanded attention and constantly built improvisations of searing drama and epic sweep. His primary legacy is a series of albums recorded for Prestige in the 1960s, of which this was his first, a riveting quintet recital where the alto saxophone of Frank Strozier supplies an urgent complement and the rhythm section is piloted by Horace Parlan, Ervin’s longtime compatriot from their days together in the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop and in a cooperative quartet that worked at Minton’s Playhouse.
In addition to four inspiring originals by Ervin and drummer Walter Perkins, the session features an eloquent reading of Fats Waller’s immortal "Black and Blue" and an exploration of the show tune "Just in Time." Both the latter and "No Land’s Man" are included in two versions, the shorter of which were cut for release as a 45 single.