Various Artists

Smithsonian Collection of Jazz Piano, Vol. 3

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The Smithsonian label breaks down its massive jazz history box set to focus on the piano greats. This third volume in Smithsonian's keyboard showcase takes up the story after the bebop innovations of Bud Powell have made their mark. Starting off with fine work from such often overlooked bop players as Dave McKenna, Al Haig, and Dodo Marmarosa, the 17-track mix forges on to the '50s with some hard bop highlights by Horace Silver, Red Garland, and Tommy Flanagan. In between, there's a mini block of Monk, a taste of Oscar Peterson, and one stellar side by the almost cultish Herbie Nichols. Regardless of the era or style, though, all the numbers here are top-notch.

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