Various Artists

Blue Ballads: Blue Note Ballads

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Blue Ballads: Blue Note Ballads Review

by Stephen Cook

While the many talented Young Lions of the '60s-era Blue Note label were primarily known for their fine up-tempo hard bop swing and soul-jazz boogaloo, they also laid down a fabulous array of ballad sides to rival the best recorded by their hallowed predecessors; plus, one gets the high-end sound forged by staff engineer Rudy Van Gelder and enough raw talent on one compilation disc to keep the mind busy charting that eventual Blue Note buying spree. Myriad classic single-artist discs aside, this 11-track tour of prime late '50s and '60s selections includes a stunning run of late-night buffer zones by the likes of Coltrane, Stanley Turrentine, Lee Morgan, Ike Quebec, Freddie Hubbard, and McCoy Tyner. A very fine introductory disc for the hard bop fan and jazz neophyte alike.

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