Al Sears had the misfortune of having his one hit, “Castle Rock,” released under the leadership of Johnny Hodges, cheating him of his one chance at fame. A fine swing-based tenor who could stomp and honk with the best of them (although he rarely screamed), Sears had relatively few opportunities to record as a leader, and this CD (which reissues a 1960 LP) was one of his last. Sears (along with pianist Don Abney, guitarist Wally Richardson, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Joe Marshall) sticks to basic originals, blues, and standards, and is in top form on these swinging and generally accessible performances. – Scott Yanow
Swing's The Thing
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