Bebop was still the new kid on the block when these memorable jazz events occurred. The scope of the sessions on this 2-CD boxed set runs from 1947 to 1962, with Duke Ellington's 1967 solo piano dedication of "Lotus Blossom" the lone exception. All capture that 1950's spirit of the pioneer with a new music at hand, who ensured that beauty remained at the forefront of jazz. Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum perform trademark solo piano pieces. Roy Eldridge and Jo Jones sit in with the Oscar Peterson trio. The Clifford Brown – Max Roach quintet performs "Joy Spring." Count Basie does "Shoe Shine Boy" with his septet. Art Blakey performs "Are You Real?" with his Jazz Messengers. Cannonball Adderley's quartet, Miles Davis's 1956 quintet, Lester Young with Teddy Wilson, an early Sonny Rollins with Tommy Flanagan, Doug Watkins and Max Roach... these are the memories.
The accompanying photo album includes thirty-five 8x10 photos by Herman Leonard and narratives for each by Ross Firestone. Fats Navarro is deep in concentration with his cheeks puffed out like Dizzy's. Lucky Thompson stands before his audience, eyes closed, and improvises beautifully. Monk is busy writing something at the piano, while smoke from his cigarette weaves intricate designs in front of him. Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn enjoy a cigarette and a break. Pops, Bird, Getz, and Mulligan are all captured during breaks in the music. Beautiful photos of Miles, Ella, Bags, Newk and Bean bring it all together. The combination of visual and aural jazz, most through ballads and highly personal glimpses, makes an excellent gift for this holiday season.
Track Listing: Dear Old Southland; The Song Is You; Joy Spring; Body and Soul; Easy Living; Blue Monk; The Man I Love; If I Had You; Shoe Shine Boy; Are You Real?; Time On My Hands; My Man; Willow Weep for Me; Deep Passion; Broadway; Stars Fell on Alabama; Perdido; Embraceable You; Frenesi; Don't Explain; Hallelujah; Tune Up/When Lights Are Low; All Of Me; Nostalgia; How Long Has This Been Going On?; Can't Help Loving That Man; Jitterbug Waltz; St. Thomas; Judy; Me and Some Drums; Lotus Blossom.
Personnel: Louis Armstrong, Clifford Brown, Clark Terry, Emmett Berry, Roy Eldridge, Lee Morgan, Jon Eardley, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro- trumpet; Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Benny Carter, Lee Konitz- alto saxophone; Sonny Stitt- alto saxophone & tenor saxophone on "If I Had You;" Harold Land, Stan Getz, Paul Quinichette, Lucky Thompson, Benny Golson, Ben Webster, Zoot Sims, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Lester Young, Charlie Rouse, Sonny Rollins- tenor saxophone; Coleman Hawkins- tenor saxophone & piano on "Me and Some Drums;" Cecil Payne, Gerry Mulligan- baritone saxophone; Jimmy Cleveland, Bennie Green, Bob Brookmeyer- trombone; Jimmy Raney, Barry Galbraith, Herb Ellis, Freddie Green, Mundell Lowe, Skeeter Best, Billy Bauer- guitar; Milt Jackson- vibraphone; Billy Kyle, Hank Jones, Richie Powell, Duke Jordan, Wynton Kelly, Count Basie, Thelonious Monk, Jimmy Jones, Bobby Timmons, Art Tatum, Bobby Tucker, Wynton Kelly, Sonny Clark, Bud Powell, Red Garland, Teddy Wilson, Duke Ellington, Tadd Dameron, Ellis Larkins, Erroll Garner, Tommy Flanagan, Lennie Tristano- piano; Oscar Peterson- piano, organ; Teddy Kotick, George Morrow, Bill Crow, Keter Betts, Ray Brown, Walter Page, Jymie Merritt, John Levy, Oscar Pettiford, Peck Morrison, Paul Chambers, Joe Benjamin, Butch Warren, Paul Chambers, Gene Ramey, Nelson Boyd, Wendell Marshall, Leonard Gaskin, Doug Watkins, Arnold Fishkin- bass; Max Roach, Frank Isola, Jimmy Cobb, Jo Jones, Art Blakey, Stan Levey, Denzil Best, Dave Bailey, Roy Haynes, Bobby White, Billy Higgins, Buddy Rich, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Smith, Shelly Manne- drums; Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald- vocals.