Kenny Drew, one of the top young bop-oriented pianists to emerge in the 1950s, would not make his one official Blue Note recording as a leader until 1960, but this set (originally released by Pacific Jazz) has been reissued on CD under the Blue Note name. Drew's regular group of the period (a quartet with altoist Joe Maini, bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Lawrence Marable) is featured on nine pieces (including six Drew originals) that swing but are not overly predictable. Maini, who died prematurely, has a rare opportunity to stretch out and all of the musicians are in fine form. In addition, this CD has three selections with the same group under trumpeter Jack Sheldon's leadership (two Drew songs plus "It's Only a Paper Moon") which were originally released on samplers. Excellent modern mainstream music of the mid-'50s.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow