Various Artists

In Case You Missed It, Vol. 1: 15th Anniversary Sampler

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From Copenhagen to Paris to Amsterdam, European indies have recorded more than their share of first-rate jazz. Labels like Storyville, Steeplechase, Owl, and Black Lion are not only valuable because of all the talented European artists they have recorded, but also because of their work with American artists. In fact, American improvisers dominate this fine compilation from the Dutch Timeless label. Timeless assembled In Case You Missed It in 1991, the year of its 15th anniversary, and this CD (which spans 1978-1990) paints an attractive picture of the company's contributions to hard bop, post-bop, and cool jazz. One of the few selections by a non-American jazzman is French tenor player Barney Wilen's 1990 version of the French pop classic "A Man and a Woman"; the sensuous tune easily lends itself to a bop makeover and Wiley's interpretation makes us wish that "A Man and a Woman" had been embraced by more jazz artists. Most of the other tracks are by American artists, who range from George Coleman on the haunting "Amsterdam After Dark" and Pharoah Sanders on "Moon Rays" to a 1981 edition of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers on altoist Bobby Watson's exuberant "In Case You Missed It." The cool school is nicely represented by Chet Baker's intimate 1986 vocal on "For All We Know," while saxman George Adams soulfully fuses jazz and gospel on an interesting version of the traditional "His Eye Is on the Sparrow." This CD is far from the last word on Timeless, but it does offer a concise introduction to some of the company's finest moments.

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