Back to the Tracks

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Back to the Tracks
Back tracks.gif
Studio album by Tina Brooks
Released January 27, 1998
Recorded September 1 and October 20, 1960
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs
Genre Jazz
Length 38:32
Label Blue Note
Blue Note 21737
Producer Alfred Lion
Tina Brooks chronology
True Blue
(1960)True Blue1960
Back to the Tracks
The Waiting Game
(1961)The Waiting Game1961
Alternative cover
Re-release BST 84052
Re-release BST 84052

Back to the Tracks is a hard bop album by tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks recorded in 1960 and released posthumously. The tracks first appeared on a Mosaic 12" LP (MR4-106) entitled The Complete Blue Note Recordings of The Tina Brooks Quintets. The album was originally intended as BLP 4052, but, for some reason, it was shelved at the time. Only on January 27, 1998, Rudy Van Gelder decided to release the session in its entirety on a remastered Blue Note CD (purple cover, Blue Note 21737), then reissued in 2006 (green cover, BST 84052). Both editions are now out-of-print. A song recorded during the session, "David the King", was rejected since it "never made it to releasable quality".[1] Said piece, however, made it to Brooks' final recording for Blue Note, The Waiting Game.

It features performances by Brooks, Blue Mitchell, Kenny Drew, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor. This group of musicians was also responsible for one of the sessions from the Jackie McLean album Jackie's Bag recorded a month earlier.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]

Stephen Erlewine, writing for Allmusic, states "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."

David H. Rosenthal in his work Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music 1955-1965 dedicated a number of pages to Brooks. Of his composition Street Singer, Rosenthal wrote it is "an authentic hard-bop classic" where "pathos, irony and rage come together in a performance at once anguished and sinister."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Tina Brooks except those indicated

  1. "Back to the Tracks" - 8:03
  2. "Street Singer" - 10:21
  3. "The Blues and I" - 8:55
  4. "For Heaven's Sake" (Elise Bretton, Sherman Edwards, Donald Meyer) - 6:05
  5. "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.



  1. ^ Liner notes by Michael Cuscuna
  2. ^ Allmusic Review
  3. ^ David H. Rosenthal (1992) Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music 1955-1965. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 127-126.