Various Artists

Blue Break Beats, Vol. 3

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Blue Note's Blue Break Beats series spotlights songs from their vaults that have been sampled for various hip-hop and techno tracks. As a result, it's been one of their most popular and entertaining series of the '90s, and for good reason -- this funky soul-jazz lends itself to compilations much easier than bop, since the groove is the only thing that matters. Unfortunately, the compilers of Vol. 3 don't always keep that in mind. Much of the collection is weighed down with vocal cuts like Shirley Bassey's "Light My Fire" and Jackie McLean's "Soul," which intercuts nearly free bop with beat poetry. While these are interesting in their own right, they stop the momentum of the disc cold. However, the remainder of Blue Break Beats, Vol. 3 is on par with its two predecessors, featuring funky soul-jazz from the likes of Cannonball Adderley and Lou Donaldson. These are the tracks that can be sampled effectively, and they make for excellent listening in their own right.

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