Really cool re the review. I'm going to the record store next Thursday and maybe I should just out the Birdland until then, though I've just started on my last albums from the last one: a Schoenberg disc (I seem to pick up a Second Viennese School disc every trip, though it's unintended) and Live at the It Club.
That actually reminds me a little bit of a Grateful Dead show: the same ten to fifteen compositions to fall back on plus some surprises (applies to albums, too, though the Columbia ones seem to be a bit more diverse) but the compositions are pregnant with possibilities. Too bad there aren't hundreds of tapes of some of these guys.
I've never been particularly thrilled by Charlie Rouse (he seems to play it safe at times IMO -- I realized that the Straight, No Chaser album is actually very easy to follow, just long) but he's good here, and the ubiquitous bass solos are at least mostly interesting and always grooving (there's an indefinable pleasure in hearing a bass solos on a blues number, too).
What don't you like about Blakey? Roach is better, I agree.