Various Artists

The Modern Jazz Piano Album

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Six of the top pianists of the bop and slightly postbop era are featured on this attractive two-LP set drawn from the Savoy vaults and put out by Arista in the late '70s. Bud Powell is featured on three songs (all alternate takes) with the Bebop Boys (a quintet with trumpeter Kenny Dorham and altoist Sonny Stitt), the innovative Lennie Tristano has five numbers with his 1947 trio, the long-neglected Herbie Nichols is heard on four obscure sides as is Dodo Marmarosa while George Wallington's trio (with bassist Curly Russell and Max Roach) stretches out on eight songs. The highly recommended (but out-of-print) two-fer concludes with three extended songs from a quintet led by drummer Kenny Clarke and featuring pianist Horace Silver, trumpeter Donald Byrd and altoist John LaPorta. Although the Clarke date has its weak moments, the music overall on this reissue is quite rewarding and often historic.

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