Back to the Tracks is a hard bop album by tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks recorded in 1960 and released posthumously.
“The music that comprises Back to the Tracks was recorded in September 1960, months after the sessions for True Blue, but it sat on the shelves until Mosaic reissued it as part of their Complete Blue Note Recordings box, even though it was penciled in for release. Like Minor Move, Tina Brooks first session that stayed unreleased for over 20 years, Back to the Tracks is an excellent hard bop set, and it’s hard to understand why it wasn’t released at the time. Brooks leads a fantastic band featuring alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor through three originals and two standards. Each musician has opportunity to shine, but Brooks remains the center of attention. His style is remarkably fluid, capable of graceful, elegant turns on the ballads and clean, speedy improvisations on the up-tempo bop. Each of the five songs have breathtaking moments, confirming Brooks talents as a saxophonist, composer and leader. Listening to Back to the Tracks, it’s impossible to figure out why the record wasn’t released at the time, but it’s a hard bop gem from the early ’60s to cherish.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine/AllMusic.
“The stereo sound of this vinyl reissue is impeccable. Play it next to the True Blue CD and you’ll hear the difference—a warm, live tone that sacrifices none of the stereo separation nor chisels it into a series of conjoined instrumental cubicles; the group dynamic is never lost. You can almost smell the smoke swirling up from a cigarette abandoned in an ashtray at the Van Gelder Studio. The year is 1960 and the music of an extremely talented young saxophonist is blowing with all the promise of a bright future.” – Matt Marshall/AllAboutJazz.
“Back to the Tracks” (Tina Brooks) – 8:03
“Street Singer” (Tina Brooks) – 10:21
“The Blues and I” (Tina Brooks) – 8:55
“For Heaven’s Sake” (Elise Bretton, Sherman Edwards, Donald Meyer) – 6:05
“The Ruby and The Pearl” (Jay Livingston, Ray Evans) – 5:08
Track 2 recorded on September 1, 1960; the other tracks on October 20, 1960.
Tina Brooks – tenor saxophone
Jackie McLean – alto saxophone (track 2 only)
Blue Mitchell – trumpet
Kenny Drew – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Art Taylor – drums
Released: January 27, 1998
Recorded: September 1 and October 20, 1960
Studio: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Label: Blue Note
Blue Note 21737
Producer Alfred Lion