This intriguing CD features trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie during a transitional period, more than a year after his 1940s bebop orchestra broke up. "We Love to Boogie" has the first commercially recorded solo of tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, four years before he joined Miles Davis. Gillespie is heard with five different small groups playing music that is both boppish and a little R&B-influenced. Three of the combos match him with baritonist Bill Graham, with Milt Jackson playing as much piano as vibes and violinist Stuff Smith guesting on one session. Highlights include "Birk's Works," Joe Carroll's vocal on "Oh, Lady Be Good," the heated two-part "The Champ," "The Bluest Blues," and Carroll and Gillespie's singing on "On the Sunny Side of the Street." The final four numbers, taken from singles cut for the Atlantic label, are particularly rare.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow