In a book that serves as a both a sequel to Dead Man's Walk and a prequel to the beloved Lonesome Dove, McMurtry fills in the missing chapters in the Call and McCrae saga. It is a fantastic read, in many ways the best and gutsiest of the series. We join the Texas Rangers in their waning Indian-fighting years. The Comanches, after one last desperate raid led by the fearsome-but-aging Buffalo Hump, are almost defeated, though Buffalo Hump's son, Blue Duck, still terrorizes the relentless flow of settlers and lawmen. As Augustus and Woodrow follow one-eyed, tobacco-spitting Captain Inish Scull deep into a murderous madman's den in Mexico, their thoughts turn toward the end of their careers and the women they love in remarkably different ways back in Austin.
In this prequel to McMurtry's 1986 Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call are invincible young bucks, Texas Rangers, full of youthful energy and, quite frankly, full of themselves. That is until they're utterly consumed by the vicious battlefield of the early-19th-century Wild West. Their journey takes them across barren deserts and raging rivers and through steep and snowy mountains, often on foot and with barely enough provisions and clothing to keep them from certain death. The constant threat of attack by Comanches keeps them awake nights, fearing for their lives–and for good reason.
Veteran guitarist Larry Coryell's third High Note CD is primarily a bop-oriented quartet session with pianist John Hicks, bassist Santi Debriano, and drummer Yoron Israel. The music ranges from a superb arrangement of Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge" to a subtle take of Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin's Dance"; Debriano contributed the brisk samba "Abra Cadabra." The leader switches to acoustic guitar for his duet with Debriano of Ray Bryant's tasty blues "Tonk"; he also plays acoustic guitar during a solo take of his intricate "Turkish Coffee." Producer Don Sickler adds his potent trumpet to two numbers written by Harold Land: the hard-driving "Compulsion" and the more easygoing "Terrain." This very enjoyable session is heartily recommended.