Dorothy Donegan, one of the great jazz pianists, was only sporadically documented prior to the mid-'70s. She cut two songs for Bluebird back in 1942; a few scattered numbers for Continental and a few obscure labels; five long out-of-print albums in the 1950s for Jubilee, Capitol, and Roulette; and just one LP during 1962-1974. This retrospective put out on CD by Rosetta is therefore quite valuable. Six of the 15 selections (which skip back and forth between 1953, 1957-1958, 1960-1963, and 1979) were originally released on obscure albums while the other nine performances were never out before. Despite the constant jumping of decades, there is a uniformity to the music, with Donegan often sounding in exuberant form. She explores stride, boogie-woogie, bop, blues, and classical music, sometimes during the same piece. This CD (which has lengthy and informative liner notes) is a perfect introduction to Dorothy Donegan's often-overlooked artistry.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow