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Sal Salvador Quintet-Quartet: Stan Kenton Presents

In the early 1950s modern jazz was still defining itself. There were no more than several dozen working modern jazz players in the world when the decade began, an extended community of hipsters trying to catch up with Bird and figure out what the implications of bop were. It seems incredible that by the end of the decade the music would seem to some so totally predictable as to warrant another revolution.

Bebop was the order of the day (1-23-50) when Howard McGhee brought a sextet featuring J. J. Johnson, Brew Moore, Kenny Drew, Curly Russell, and Max Roach to the studio. McGhee was one of the best early modern trumpet voices, occupying a stylistic middle ground between Dizzy and Fats with distinction on these fine tracks. All the soloists sparkle, Moore showing himself to have already evolved his original approach. The rhythm drives and the arrangements are tight. We pass to Drew’s leader debut for the second half of the disc, recorded three years later and heavily slanted toward standards. Drew throughout is more under the spell of Bud Powell than he was to be in a few years, which is all to the good for

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