Various Artists

The Bebop Boys [Arista]

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This double LP is from the era when Arista (under the guidance of producers Bob Porter and Steve Backer) was doing a superlative job of reissuing music from the Savoy catalog. The emphasis is very much on bop with eight different groups heard from. The all-star quintet of trumpeter Kenny Dorham, altoist Sonny Stitt, pianist Bud Powell, bassist Al Hall and either Wally Bishop or Kenny Clarke on drums performs eight heated numbers from 1946, there is a session led by bassist Ray Brown that has Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Jackson among the sidemen and Gil Fuller has a rare opportunity to lead his own date. In addition vocalists Kenny Hagood, Babs Gonzales and Eddie Jefferson (the latter's "Body And Soul" and "The Birdland Story" are among the highpoints of this two-fer) are heard from. This highly recommended and historic package concludes with a pair of dates headed by baritonist Leo Parker that also feature trumpeter Joe Newman, trombonist J.J. Johnson and the young tenor-great Dexter Gordon. Until Savoy's timeless recordings are reissued in more coherent form on CD, these Arista sets are worth a lengthy search.