Cecil Payne’s Clifford Jordan-produced 1973 release Zodiac is a highly regarded and incredibly sought after masterpiece from the legendary Strata East catalogue expertly remastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering in Lyndhurst Hall, London, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Pallas. It was actually recorded five years earlier in 1968 and served as the third installment in Strata East’s Dolphy Series. Flawlessly supporting Payne’s stellar saxophone work here is Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Wynton Kelly on piano, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Albert Heath on drums. Despite losing Kelly and Dorham in between the recordings sessions and its release and opening with a touching tribute to the recently departed Martin Luther King, Jr., Zodiac exhibits a contagious enthusiasm and soulful groove throughout.
Cecil Payne, baritone and alto saxophone
Wilbur Ware, bass
Albert Kuumba Heath, drums
Wynton Kelly, piano
Kenny Dorham, trumpet