Part of Blue Note's 50th Anniversary box set, this initial disc charts the important jazz label's beginnings with a top-notch mix of boogie-woogie, combo swing, and bebop. The disc appropriately kicks off with a cut from Blue Note's first session, which featured the two boogie-woogie piano giants Albert Ammons and Meade "Lux" Lewis. Followed up by a few more vintage sides by Sidney Bechet and Edmond Hall, the 17-track set proceeds to wend its way through prime bop material by Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, and Fats Navarro, then eases into the hard bop era of the mid-'50s with stellar work by Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and Clifford Brown, among others. Solid and eminently enjoyable.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook