Vibes pioneer Red Norvo (b. Kenneth Norville, 1908) is one of the select few musicians whose work defies categories--unless, of course, the category is long standing excellence. How many jazz players can claim to have worked with Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Benny Carter, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra? One of the most important swing-to-bop figures, Norvo began recording with vibes-guitar-bass trios in 1950. The two threesomes herein spotlight Jimmy Raney (1927-1995) and Tal Farlow, two of the most compelling guitarists to extend the groundbreaking work of Charlie Christian. Both groups were anchored by a bassist who could handle any musical situation, Red Mitchell (1927-1992). The leader’s economical, muted solos contrasted effectively with the bebop inflections and trigger-action solos of Raney and Farlow, respectively, and the lattice-like contrapuntal ensembles made the Red Norvo Trio one of the freshest sounding improvising units.