This album was originally released in 1961 when HERBIE HANCOCK made his debut to the recording world. Although several re-issues have been released under his name, it was originally under the name PEPPER ADAMS AND DONALD BYRD QUINTET – Out Of This World.
This album not only exhibits one of the most cumbersome band names and titles of jazz albums throughout recording history but also is the perfect example of how a few recorded tracks that went virtually unheard at the time of release would go on to be repackaged, renamed under not only totally different track names and sequential order but also by completely different composers and artists! This album would have probably been a total obscurity in history had it not been for the the fact that it is the very first recording to feature HERBIE HANCOCK. Let me list all the differences simply as a place to sort out the dizzying variations.
Those released under the artist name PEPPER ADAMS & DONALD BYRD QUINTET
Original release: album: Out Of This World released in 1961 as Warwick W 2041 tracks: 1. Curro's 2. It's a Beautiful Evening 3. Mr. Lucky Theme 4. Bird House 5. Day Dreams
Second version: album: Out Of This World Vol 2 released in 1988 as Warwick 2041 - 2 tracks: 1. I'm An Old Cowhand (Unreleased) 2. Day Dreams (alt. take) 3. Out Of This World (alt. take) 4. Mr. Lucky (alt. take) 5. Curro's (alt. take) 6. Byrd House (alt. Take)
Third version: album: Out Of This World: The Complete Warwick Sessions released in 2010 on CD tracks: 1. Byrd House 2. Mr. Lucky 3. Day Dreams 4. I'm An Old Cowhand 5. Curro's 6. It's A Beautiful Evening 7. Out Of This World
Many of these tracks have also been released and put together in many ways as HERBIE HANCOCK album compilations as well. These album titles include: Voyager Jammin'(with Herbie Hancock!) And Rock Your Soul, which is technically a 2007 compilation of versions of these tracks They have been renamed as they've been repackaged: 1. Jammin' With Herbie = Curro's 2. Herbie's Blues = Bird House 3. Rock Your Soul = Mr. Lucky 4. T.C.B. With Herbie = Out Of This World 5. Soul Power = Day Dreams 6. Cat Call = I'm An Old Cowhand
Note that “It's A Beautiful Evening” is missing from this release. After all that, let me get to the music. Well what we get here is some nice pleasant hard bop fairly standard from the period. Nothing extraordinary yet nothing horrible either. It will neither excite nor offend and although this is Herbie Hancock's introduction to a recording, he does not yet have creative license to add too much of his signature sound to the music. This is safely delivered hard bop where PEPPER ADAMS plays some nice boppin' baritone sax replete with the long tumbling, double-time melodic lines trading off with DONALD BYRD on trumpet.
Although this album isn't exactly essential to my ears it is interesting to hear how Herbie Hancock contributes his piano playing skills as the underdog. Herbie also credits DONALD BYRD for giving him the most important advice of his career – namely not to relinquish his songwriting publishing rites, a mistake that many a jazz player of the day made only to forfeit many royalties of re-issues. I guess I would pick this up at a very reduced price but don't lose any sleep if you can't find it. One of those collector's items and a good example of how poorly some earlier jazz albums were re-released over the decades, which makes it EXTREMELY confusing.