Willie Mabon was never exactly a smooth singer, but his raspy vocals carried enough of a self-amused sneer to keep things interesting, and while his sturdy piano playing had some jazz inflection, his occasional rack harmonica blurts kept the musical perspective firmly on the blues side of R&B. This rather random collection from Austria's Wolf Records shouldn't really be called Best of Willie Mabon…..
Louis Armstrong's concert at Symphony Hall with his All-Stars in 1947 was a major success, featuring the trumpeter with vocalist/trombonist Jack Teagarden, clarinetist Barney Bigard, pianist Dick Cary, bassist Arvell Shaw, and drummer Big Sid Catlett in particularly inspired form. This single CD reissues 15 of the 18 selections from the earlier two-LP set, dropping "How High the Moon" (which was mostly a bass solo), singer Velma Middleton's feature on "I Cried for You," and (most regrettably) a definitive comedy vocal duet by Middleton and Armstrong on "That's My Desire." ~ AllMusic
Volume 1 of the two-volume Genius of Modern Music set comprises the first sessions Thelonious Monk recorded as a leader, on October 15 and 24 and November 21 of 1947. It's impossible to overstate the importance of these sessions. They include some of the earliest recordings of Monk compositions that would become standards, despite their angularity and technical difficulty: the strange, sideways chord progression of "Thelonious"; the bouncy and cheerful but melodically cockeyed "Well, You Needn't"; ~ AllMusic