In the year 2000, Definitive Classics reissued a rich vein of early modern jazz recordings made for four distinctly different labels between September 1946 and August 1949 by four groups that included pianist and composer Bud Powell. The earliest of these, a session for the Swing label that took place on September 5, 1946, found Powell teamed with trumpeters Kenny Dorham and Fats Navarro and saxophonist Sonny Stitt as members of Kenny Clarke's 52nd Street Boys. The four titles resulting from this little get-together are tacked onto the end of this collection. Powell recorded eight titles with Curly Russell and Max Roach for the Roost label on January 10, 1947; six more sides were cut between January and May 1949 with Roach and Ray Brown, and were subsequently released on the Mercury, Norgan and Verve labels. Definitive polishes off this excellent compilation with six Blue Note recordings made by Bud Powell's Modernists on August 9, 1949; this solid little band featured Sonny Rollins and Fats Navarro in front of Powell, Tommy Potter and Roy Haynes. The only thing missing from this survey of Bud Powell's professional activity during this time period are Savoy sessions led by Charlie Parker and Fats Navarro with Gil Fuller's Modernists. The trio recordings in particular are magical windows allowing glimpses into the beatific yet troubled soul of Bud Powell.
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AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf