On May 26th, 1942, a teenaged tenor saxophonist from Texas took the featured solo on Lionel Hampton’s recording of a riff tune called “Flying Home,” and planted the seed from which not only a lot of bebop jazz but basically all R&B and rock sax playing would grow. Illinois Jacquet was among the first tenormen to graft elements of Lester Young’s forward- looking approach onto the template established by Coleman Hawkins, and his defining “Flying Home” solo pointed the way for thousands of aspiring bar-walkers, who learned it note-for-note. But there was more to Jacquet than extroverted honking and swaggering swing; he could improvise melodically, build his solos, and interpret ballads with great tenderness. These qualities came to the fore on the fine series of LP’s he waxed during the 1950s. Matching Jacquet’s brilliance on Swing’s The Thing is trumpet great Roy Eldridge, and the rhythm section of Jimmy Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Herb Ellis (guitar), and Jo Jones (drums). It’s hard to believe that anything short of a time machine and front-row seat in a great listening room could deliver better sound fidelity than this beautifully remastered LP reissue.