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Bud Powell: Piano
Bud Powell: Piano (Mercury, 1949)

It’s not an exaggeration to say that this 10-inch LP, cut in February 1949 with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Max Roach, is the template for every piano trio since. It presented a non-horn player whose technique and imagination could rival those of Bird and Diz. But its legacy far outpaces bebop, inspiring the likes of Cecil Taylor and beyond. And “Tempus Fugue-It,” in particular, remains one of the jaw-dropping masterpieces of any jazz style. MICHAEL J. WEST