Every great improviser since Buddy Bolden has developed and demonstrated his craft in the crucible of the jam session, the night school of the jazz community. There is nothing remarkable about musicians staying up and jamming until daylight. But it is unusual when an all-night session is recorded and produces music of quality so high that it results not merely in an album but a series of albums that retain their freshness and value for decades. This is the first of three volumes that preserve a night in the career of Hampton Hawes when the pianist was at a peak of power and inspiration. With Jim Hall, Red Mitchell, and Bruz Freeman, Hawes's All Night Session is one of the great small-band recordings of the 1950s.