Various Artists

New York Lounge, Vol. 2: One Night on Broadway

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Remember when the term "lounge" was an epithet, when it was a shorthand way of describing music as smarmy and cheap? No more. What it means now isn't always completely clear, but it certainly doesn't carry the negative associations it used to. In the case of this collection, it seems to connote a general sort of late-night mood, but one with many variations: Mo'Horizons' rollicking and brilliant Brazilian version of "Hit the Road, Jack" (sung in Portuguese), the petulant hip-hop of DJ DMD's "Ghetto Gold," the reggae-tinged jazz-funk of Thievery Corporation's "Focus on Sight," and Alkemx's beautiful "Tonight" all offer very different perspectives on the lounge sound, and Guru's "Loungin'" (which prominently features the trumpet playing of Donald Byrd) hints at the possibility that the border between lounge music and nu-jazz has become blurred beyond recognition. There are a few throwaway tracks here, including the lackluster "Night (Goes On) Dawn to Dusk" by Limos and all of the "People of New York" interview interludes, which detract from the music flow without adding much worthwhile to the program, but there are more than enough moments of brilliance here to offset those minor irritations. Highly recommended overall.

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