Warming Up! collects two trio albums recorded by pianist Billy Taylor in 1960-1961, the first under the same title, the second Interlude. On the first 12 pieces he's joined by bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Ray Mosca, on the later 11, Doug Watkins takes Grimes' place. The similar setup and personnel mean that both albums flow together as a piece, though each carries a separate mood owing to the albums' different conceptions. Warming Up! was slotted for a radio transcription company, which meant that the tracks would be kept short (three minutes or less). This design gives pieces like "That's Where It's At" and "Don't Bug Me" a nice, compact unity while still allowing Taylor plenty of room for his fluid style. The Interlude tracks, on the other hand, worked more like short suites from a symphony, moving through the beginning, middle, and end of a love affair. While the compositions run a little longer here, most stay within the four- to five-minute range. The mood of pieces like "You Tempt Me" and "Did You Dream Too" is much more introspective. Taken together, the two recordings sound like two set lists, one recorded in the early evening, the other late at night. Taylor's light touch sensitively captures both frames of mind, making Warming Up! a fine introduction to a fine pianist.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.