Amazing work from the early, legendary years of Billy Eckstine – that time when he was fronting one of the hippest backing groups a vocalist could hope to have! Eckstine's voice was already becoming the stuff of legend by the time of these recordings – but thanks to contributions from a host of famous boppers, his band was getting equal fame, too – a really legendary lineup that includes such greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie,Kenny Dorham, and FatsNavarro on trumpets; Wardell Gray, Dexter Gordon, and Gene Ammons on tenor; Leo Parker on baritone; Art Blakey on drums; and many other huge names too! The band was virtually a school for a whole generation of jazzmen to come – allowing them to play together, get to know each other, and spin off in important small groups – much in the way the Kenton group a few years later allowed so much development on the west coast. And amidst all this great music, Billy's vocals have never sounded better – much bolder and hard-swinging than in later years! 2CDs, great notes, and a whopping 41 tracks in all. CD
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