Various Artists

The Best of Blue Note, Vols. 1 & 2

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Granted, a single-disc overview of Blue Note's finest recordings can't help but offer listeners more than a myopic view of the label's true scope, but for jazz neophytes, this nine-track collection will undoubtedly serve as a tantalizing taste of the company's riches. The song selection, though lacking few surprises, is consistently wonderful -- how could a disc featuring John Coltrane's "Blue Train," Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage," Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" and Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder" be anything but? -- and purists' complaints aside, for new fans it's a solid introduction to the Blue Note magic.

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