Then, as now, the New York Scene was the center of the jazz world. In the Forties, the epicenter was the fabled 52nd Street, where in 1944 the brilliant pianist George Wallington (b. 1924) was a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s first bebop group. Woods and Byrd, 25 and 24 respectively when these performances were recorded, were Young Lions who became major players on the world jazz scene. Wallington left New York not long after this album was recorded, moved to Florida, and did not return to the recording studio until 1984. This set--especially Mose Allison’s intense Middle Eastern-flavored "In Salah"--is just one reminder of what Wallington’s fans would miss.