As a budget sampler, this edition of the Compact Jazz series offers newcomers an attractive overview of Bud Powell's Verve material from 1949-1956. That said, the disc does include several cuts from Powell's less-than-stellar mid-'50s trio sessions, a time when mental illness and electroshock therapy had started to take its toll. And although there are a few sides from Powell's monumental 1949-1951 dates with drummer Max Roach and bassists Curly Russell and Ray Brown ("Tempus Fugit," "I'll Keep Loving You"), plus one solo number from the same period ("Dusk in Sandi"), the majority here is of variable quality. This is not to say there aren't any good performances to be found in the later cuts; but for fans looking into a quality introduction to Powell's Verve work, the label's two Jazz Giant discs would be the best place to start.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook