Cover art included, liner notes not included
's (first issued on LP in 1971) has been looked at as an afterthought in many respects. A collection of sessions from 1959, 1960, and 1961 with different bands, they are allegedly takes from vinyl LP sessions commercially limited at that time to 40 minutes on vinyl, and not initially released until many years later. Connoisseurs consider this one of his better recordings in that it offers an overview of what was thinking in those pivotal years of the free bop movement rather than the concentrated efforts of , , , , and of course the pivotal . There are three most definitive selections that define 's sound and concept. "Monk & the Nun" is angular like , soulful as spiritualism, and golden with the rhythm team of bassist and drummer driving the sweet and sour alto sax of and piquant trumpeting of . "Check Up" is a wild roller coaster ride, mixing meters, tempos, and dynamics in a blender in an unforgettable display of sheer virtuosity, and featuring bassist . "Joy of a Toy" displays the playful in interval leaps, complicated bungee jumps, in many ways whimsical but not undecipherable. It is one of the most intriguing of all of 's compositions. Less essential, "First Take" showcases his double quartet in a churning composition left off the original release , loaded with interplay as a showcase for a precocious young trumpeter named , the ribald bass clarinet of , and the first appearance with 's groups for New Orleans drummer . "Little Symphony" has a great written line with room for solos in a joyful hard bop center with the quartet of , , , and . All in all an excellent outing for from a hodgepodge of recordings that gives a broader view of his vision and the music that would come later in the '60s.