Billy Eckstine's bop band from 1944-1946 will live forever in the annals of time as a pivot-point group in jazz, given its advanced arrangements welded to the bandleader's silky smooth vocal tone. This collection, though not a comprehensive document from this era (go to the Classics label recordings for that), does contain many of his most revered songs, as well as the instrumental "Opus X." If only for the immortal torch songs "I Want to Talk About You," "Together," "If That's the Way You Feel," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "In the Still of the Night," "Don't Take Your Love from Me," and "Without a Song," this would no doubt be priceless. As a single-CD document it is a potent compilation and especially worth paying a budget price if you are new to this era or style of mid-period jazz.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos