The earliest of these 19 sides, dating from 1946, capture Lennie Tristano at age 27, newly arrived in New York and beginning to carve a place for himself in the embryonic bebop scene. Playing with Billy Bauer on guitar and bassist Clyde Lombardi, Tristano shows off a mix of youthful verse and pianistic elegance, coupled with effortless, seamless invention, matched by Bauer's crisp, economical, yet quietly flamboyant guitar. Other, later sides included here, from the following year, capture Tristano and company moving into more dissonant and experimental territory, challenging the listeners without ever losing them as he ranges across unexpected tonalities. It's all glorious listening, and don't be put off by the multiple takes of all but three compositions here because no two are alike enough to make it seem like you've been there before.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder