Various Artists

Jazz Ballads for Easy Listening

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The programmatic jazz compilations roll on. This time around, listeners are directed to enjoy their jazz ballads for easy listening purposes. Thankfully, this forgone conclusion is forgotten as soon as Lee Morgan's beautiful "I Remember Clifford" kicks in at the start of the set. After that, the going remains pleasant if occasionally strange (Dinah Shore?), as hard bop giants Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Stanley Turrentine, Sonny Clark, and Jimmy Smith deliver top-notch performances. Made complete by Nancy Wilson's stellar take on "But Beautiful," Jazz Ballads for Easy Listening will make that hazy day by the stereo an enjoyable one.

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