Personnel: Erroll Garner (piano); John Simmons, Leonard Gaskin (bass); Alvin Stohler, Charlie Smith (drums).
Recorded in March and August 1949.
Personnel: Billy Taylor (piano); John Hardy (tenor saxophone); Milt Page (organ); Al Hall, John Simmons (bass); Jimmy Clowford, Shadow Wilson (drums).
Recorded on March 20, 1945 and November 20, 1949.
For this CD (put out by the Japanese Denon label), there are six selections apiece from pianists Erroll Garner and Billy Taylor. The Garner titles (which are also available elsewhere) are rhapsodic ballads that are both melodic and whimsical. The Taylor sides include the four songs that he cut at his very first session as a leader (March 20, 1945) plus two cuts made with a quintet (comprised of tenor saxophonist Jon Hardee, organist Milt Page, bassist John Simmons and drummer Shadow Wilson) in 1949. Despite the brief playing time (just 36 minutes) and lazy packaging (which includes three major misspellings on the back cover), the music is enjoyable and worth picking up if it can be found at a budget price. ~ Scott Yanow