's reputation as a premier improvising swing-to-bop tenor saxophonist is firmly cemented via these 20 selections, actually the best of the Clef label recordings in the '50s produced by Norman Granz
. This is a well-chosen collection, with groups ranging from small ensembles and spirited organ combos (check out the very hip "Port of Rico") to a select few big bands. Many tracks such as "Speedliner," "Heads," "The Kid and the Brute," and "Achtung" were perfect jam vehicles, and are great inclusions here, but Jacquet
was not only known in that format. His extraordinary ballad work, rivaled only by Lester Young
and Ben Webster
, is well represented on a smattering of standards as well as "Pastel," "Bluesitis," and "Where Are You?" On top of that, you get all-time hits "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Cotton Tail," and his signature solo during "Flying Home." The urgent, forward-thinking, or tender sound of Illinois Jacquet
is well documented on this fine compilation, which is easily recommended for both Jacquet
mavens and newcomers to this mighty musician.