American bassist Leroy Vinnegar's debut album! Making up the rest of sextet are Gerald Wilson, trumpet; Teddy Edwards, tenor saxophone; Carl Perkins, piano; Tony Bazely, drums; and British import Victor Feldman on vibes (Feldman also arranged three of the seven songs). The album was produced by Lester Koenig and recorded in three 1957 sessions in Los Angeles.
Six of the seven songs in this set have the word "walk" in their title, including "Would You Like To Take a Walk," "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," "I'll Walk Alone," and Vinnegar's original "Walk On." All-in-all, a fine, straight-ahead session. 4 Stars, AllMusic.
Founded in 1951 by film producer, screenwriter and record collector Lester Koenig (1917-1977), Contemporary Records became the epicenter of the West Coast jazz scene, while its cutting-edge approach to sound and design attracted some of the era's most exciting artists. The Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series — which launched in the spring of 2022 with titles by Art Pepper, Barney Kessel and Benny Carter, among others — honors the label's rich legacy through meticulous reissues that highlight the label's influential classics, as well as its must-hear rarities.
Since its initial rollout, the series has earned accolades from a slew of outlets, including JazzTimes, which spoke to the impact of the label, reflecting: "Artists, producers, and engineers alike have held Contemporary aloft…as a label dedicated to presenting jazz at its absolute purest, richest, and live-est," adding that the new reissues "are living, breathing proof of that label's hotly cutting clarity." Audiophile Review, meanwhile, marveled at the stereo pressing of Art Pepper + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics, which it called "top-notch," elaborating that it sounds "richer and more inviting…deliver[ing] a bit more cinemascopic ‘view' of the group." Praising Hampton Hawes' Four! as "pristine," Audiophile Audition added, "Kudos to Craft Recordings for re-introducing a brilliant pianist."