Various Artists

Black Lion Connoisseur/Lions Abroad, Vol. 3: The Lion Does Paree

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This two-disc set of recordings originally came out in France on the celebrated Black Lion label. It's a real hodgepodge of tracks, styles, and sometimes conflicting playing styles, with artists as diverse as Sidney Bechet, Bill Coleman, Ben Webster, Stephane Grappelli, Earl Hines, Barney Kessel, Bud Powell, Johnny Griffin, Cecil Taylor, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago contributing. The tracks were not all recorded overseas, despite the title, and the recording quality varies from track to track, as does the inspiration from session to session, but it's an interesting overview of how such an American music form was kept alive across the water.