OK, here's the deal with this CD. It's true that it was impossible to find for a long time (except as part of the complete box set), but I think this is, tragically, because it is the least Blue Note-like of his Blue note albums. As Blue Note became more commercialized in the 50's the music, and Bud's work on this label alng with it, bacame more and more formulaic. Somehow this album slipped through the blue note cracks in both senses, commercially and musically. So as far as the Blue Note work goes, the first is the best and the third is arguably the second best (as a whole that is, though the highs aren't nearly as high as the highs on Amazing part 2); the later stuff, like Time Waits, does no justice to Bud's creativity at all.
What does this mean as far as the music is concerned? Well, this is like night and day compared to Time Waits, for instance. There is much more freedom and diversity here. Idaho, for instance, has a brilliant solo that draws on both tatum and Monk in its use of left-hand stride behind his typically linear runs. There's nothing like this on the last three BN albums. The three tracks with Fuller on trombone are priceless: they sound raw and informal, unstudio-like, very emotionally direct, which is the atmosphere in which Bud shines best. But perhaps the real gem on this album is the piano intro to Bud on Bach: Bud is whirlwind of agressive technical vertusity here. Though his left hand falters ever so slightly once or twice, I guarentee that no concert painist ever (world or any other class) has ever approached Bach with such emotional fury and with such a direct unhesitating attack. ONly Bud could have played Bahc like this, there aren't many pianists that have the technique to even attempt it.
Finally, the trio plays sublimely together. I wouldn't by any means say that Bud is better with horns. I think rather he shines best in a trio, and here his long-time companion Art taylor of the drums contributes his typically brilliant swing and propulsion to the trio.