Alto saxophonist/arranger Gigi Gryce and trumpeter Donald Byrd's innovative, but unfortunately short-lived Jazz Lab Quintet recorded several sides during 1957, seven of which were released on this excellent Columbia album (a handful of other titles were collectively made for Riverside, Verve, and RCA). The nucleus of the band consists of Gryce, Byrd, pianist Hank Jones) bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Art Taylor. With some of the best arrangements heard in jazz and excellent solos by Gryce, Byrd, and Jones, Jazz Lab makes for an excellent introduction to the hard bop catalog. BLUE LIGHTS / ONION HEAD / ISN'T IT ROMANTIC / BAT LAND / BANGOON / IMAGINATION / XTACY.
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