Blue Note's 1500 series was comprised of the label's original 12" LPs (some revamped from their initial 10" format) and roughly covered a period from the mid-'40s to the late '50s: in other words, a whole lot of classic bebop and vintage hard bop sides from one of the most important jazz labels ever. This now out of print sampler translates the math into music with 12 excellent cuts, most of which were recorded during the latter half of the '50s. The mix includes both the "stars" (Lee Morgan, Jimmy Smith, Horace Silver, Kenny Dorham) and the often unsung (Jutta Hipp, Gil Melle, John Gilmore, J.R. Monterose), and for cult-figure fans, pianist and composer Herbie Nichols is well represented on his Billie Holiday tribute, "Lady Sings the Blues." Not only a great Blue Note sampler, but an ideal survey of early modern jazz as well.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook