If you are a Bobby Timmons fan, you are gonna dig this record. All Music Guide disses the sound quality of this CD saying that only hardcore collectors will want this. Well, All Music Guide has it all wrong. The sound quality, while not up to Rudy Van Gelder standards, is good. Sound qualitywise it is in the same league as the Wynton Kelly/Joe Henderson Four! album and Live at the Left Bank Jazz Society Baltimore recordings. Definately not Dean Benedetti style poor sounding wire recordings as All Music would have you believe so don't be scared off by what the AMG or Penguin Guides say regarding the sound quality.
Now about the actual music and magic on this record. There aren't to many Live albums where Bobby Timmons is leader. The only other one that I can think of is In Person which is one of my favorite live albums. You can get live stuff from Cannonball and Art Blakey with Bobby Timmons but he has to share the solospace with Cannonball, Nat, Lee Morgan, and Hank Mobley.
Here Bobby has a quartet going with Sonny Red on Alto. The music is good and has a raw quality to it. Bobby sounds great, Sonny a little extra raw like maybe he is slightly out of tune. Timmons blows the doors of of Rainy Day, he states the melody in his intro then Red comes in to repeat the melody. But it is Timmons who shines with a sweet 5 minute solo. He is in top form this night. He also plays some Rhythm changes (The Theme), a Blues (Now's the Time), a ballad (Prelude to a Kiss) and finishes off the set with Moanin'. So you get to hear Bobby playing freely and stretching out in a live setting over all the good stuff.
Sonny Red adds interest and has some good solos but this would've ranked up there with the best if it were a trio set. But I can't complain as Bobby takes the majority of choruses.
Anyways, if you like Bobby Timmons don't pass up this record if you can find it. Hearing this stuff live is the best and with this CD you get a great set that is well recorded. Maybe AMG didn't like the fact that the audience chatter is audible in the mix. Hey, just close your eyes, light a cigarette drink some Campari and make believe your there..... Highly Recommended to Bobby Timmons fans.