Various Artists

52nd Street, Vol. 2

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AllMusic Review by

Onyx in the 1970s came out with a series of LPs that documented many of the lesser-known bop and swing sessions of the 1940s. Unfortunately the label eventually went out of business and much of the music has not yet been reissued. This excellent album has four strong dates, three led by tenors. Coleman Hawkins teams up with an all-star septet (comprised of trumpeter Charlie Shavers, clarinetist Edmond Hall, pianist Clyde Hart, guitarist Tiny Grimes, bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Denil Best) for four numbers. In addition there are three rare piano solos from Nat Jaffe and excellent quartet sessions headed by Ben Webster and Don Byas; the latter performs four warm ballads. It will take a search to find this LP (and all of the other valuable Onyx releases), but for bop collectors it's worth it.