In the bebop revolution of the 1940’s, as Charlie Parker was the leading voice of the alto saxophone, so was Bud Powell the leading voice of the piano. Recorded in 1956 (before his Paris sojourn), the long-unavailable Blues in the Closet features Powell’s lightning-fast runs and nimble keyboard navigations on a set of originals and well-chosen standards. He is accompanied by Osie Johnson, a solid mainstream drummer, and the dean of jazz bassists, Ray Brown. A must for Powell fans and bop devotees.
When one thinks of altoist/flutist Bud Shank's recordings of the 1950s, it is normally of his work with Stan Kenton's orchestra or collaborations with Laurindo Almeida or Bob Cooper. However, Shank led a superior quartet from 1956-1958 that also included pianist Claude Williamson, bassist Don Prell, and either Chuck Flores or Jimmy Pratt on drums. This typically magnificent five-CD limited-edition box set from Mosaic has the quartet's four albums (including a set that was recorded in Johannesburg, South Africa), a selection by Shank with a sextet that includes vibraphonist Larry Bunker, and three slightly later sets.