Tina Brooks: Star Eyes
Tina Brooks (tenor sax)
Minor Move (Blue Note 3072)
Composed by Gene De Paul and Don Raye.
Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, March 16, 1958
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Tina Brooks did not record during the last dozen years of his life, and was a largely forgotten figure at the time of death from liver failure in 1974. But the hard-bop recordings he made for the Blue Note label between 1958 and 1961 continue to enjoy a cult following. This rugged tenor saxophonist captured the hard-bop ethos of the era, with rugged performances that stripped away the sentimentality of songs such as "Star Eyes." Love songs became gritty anthems to self-determination, pushing and prodding the music farther and farther along -- in this case for more than eight minutes. Charlie Parker may have recorded the definitive 1950s-era version of this standard, but Brooks finishes ahead of the rest of the pack on this marathon performance. The tenorist is admirably assisted by trumpeter Lee Morgan and a first-rate rhythm section.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia