The 1945-1946 edition of Gillespie's Classics series finds the bop trumpeter in the kind of top-notch company he kept throughout most of the '40s. Leaving sideman dates for other discs, the 23-track set spotlights Gillespie with his Tempo Jazzmen and an early version of his orchestra; while the former included the stunning likes of Lucky Thompson, Milt Jackson, Al Haig, and Ray Brown, the latter slightly altered the tonal landscape with swing and bop tenor great Don Byas replacing Thompson. Besides fine renditions of "Confirmation," "'Round Midnight," and "Anthropology" by these groups, the disc also includes a handful of enjoyable enough vocal sides featuring vocalist/arranger Johnny Richards. Best for jazz fans who want it all and in chronological order.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook