Various Artists

Masters of the Blues [Legacy Box]

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These three discs in the Legacy Masters of the Blues series are all available individually. Two of these discs -- Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker -- are actually terrific. There is a lack of documentation on them which is a drag, but the music and sound quality, as well as the performances, are solid, engaging and footstomping. The final disc in the set, by B.B. King, is a mixed bag. There are some awesome performances from the King years -- the later '40s and early '50s -- and some atrocious live cuts including, unfortunately, the tepid version of "The Thrill Is Gone." Given the price, however, this set is still well worth it for Muddy Waters' Stovall and early Chess sides and Hooker's killer Vee Jay material.

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