Various Artists

The New York Scene in the 40's

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There are 16 performances on this French CBS LP and nearly all are classics. Cootie Williams's Orchestra in 1942 plays Thelonious Monk's "Epistrophy" (which was arguably the first bebop recording), Dizzy Gillespie in 1945 performs a brilliant reworking of "I Can't Get Started" and "Good Bait," there are two songs from the 1950 Metronome All-Stars, three examples of Claude Thornhill's Orchestra of Gil Evans arrangements and four songs apiece from Chubby Jackson's big band and Sarah Vaughan; the latter session also includes trumpeter Miles Davis and finds young Sassy at her peak. Most of these recordings have been reissued on CD but that does not lessen the impact of this very strong program.