A jazz classic if there ever was one – and the best-selling album ever by Lee Morgan, thanks to the use of the title track in a car commercial! Sure, you've probably heard "The Sidewinder" enough that you think you know the album already – but the rest of the tunes really open up past that groover, into a realm of lyrical, soulful playing that's simply tremendous! The group on the record features Joe Henderson on tenor, Barry Harris on piano, Bob Crenshaw on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums – and the album rolls along with a sense of perfect power that is every bit Blue Note at its best!
Van Zandt's subject matter had not changed much in the seven years between recordings, as was apparent only a few lines into the leadoff track, "A Song For," when Van Zandt spoke-sang, "I'm weak and I'm weary of sorrow." In fact, he wasn't weary of enumerating the causes of sorrow, as was proven especially in "Marie," sung in the voice of a derelict whose life gets worse and worse until his pregnant girlfriend dies. Songs like that were typical of Van Zandt, but this time he also displayed an unusual range, from the scary, calypso-like song of temptation "The Hole" to the weird tall tale of "Billy, Boney and Ma" in which a man and a skeleton turn to a life of crime, demonstrating Van Zandt's humorous side.