Various Artists

Jazz Piano Anthology [Box Set]

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This is an interesting, if not definitive budget-priced five-CD set put out by Laserlight that has music played by 32 different pianists. The label did their best to get one or two examples of recordings by virtually every major jazz pianist, and with the exception of Cecil Taylor, Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett, practically every key player is represented. The five CDs are divided into overlapping categories: "In the Beginning" (James P. Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, Earl Hines, Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson), "Bop" (Art Tatum, Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk), "Swingers" (Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Wynton Kelly, Horace Silver, Cedar Walton, Hank Jones, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Kenny Drew), "The Magic Touch" (Erroll Garner, Bill Evans, Roger Kellaway, Roland Hanna, George Shearing, Mary Lou Williams, George Cables), and "Modern Evolutions" (Lennie Tristano, McCoy Tyner, Mulgrew Miller, Chick Corea, Andy LaVerne, Paul Bley, Eliane Elias and Bill Mays). Some of the performances (many cut live) were made for the Laserlight labels, such as LRC and Groove Merchant, while others were leased from other labels such as Savoy, Denon and Delmark. A good sampler of the history of jazz piano; even veteran collectors will not already own some of these selections.

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