The second installment in the Classics Eddie Heywood chronology traces the pianist's progression from a successful Commodore leader and accompanist (see the first installment as well as Billie Holiday's later Commodore material) into a Decca recording artist via a pair of V-Disc performances cut on November 13, 1944. This compendium of amiable, sophisticated, and mature swing music features alto saxophonists Lem Davis and Marshall Royal as well as trombonists Vic Dickenson, Henry Coker, and Young Lion Britt Woodman, who is heavily featured on "Pom Pom." If the artistic high point of the entire album is Heywood's interpretation of Duke Ellington's gorgeous melody "I Didn't Know About You" (a prelude to later renditions by Johnny Hodges, Lee Konitz, Thelonious Monk, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk), the toy surprise in this package is a very hip-sounding Bing Crosby, featured on five tracks recorded in Los Angeles near the end of the summer of 1945. Bing seems unusually comfortable in this company, and for this reason these tracks should be counted among the best jazz recordings he ever participated in.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf