Various Artists

Café Après-midi: Palme

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Compiler Toru Hashimoto again borrows the keys to the vast Warner/Atlantic/Elektra vaults for Café Après-midi: Palme, one of the more wildly eclectic entries in the series to date. Despite remaining rooted in the singular mixture of bossa nova, soft pop, and cool jazz that has defined previous volumes, Hashimoto travels further out than per usual, reining in tracks from everyone from Van Dyke Parks ("Bing Crosby") to John Coltrane (his immortal rendition of "My Favorite Things"). Moreover, there are probably more names here that will appeal to the casual music fan than on any other Café Après-midi disc, with superstars like Ella Fitzgerald ("Mas Que Nada"), Mel Tormé ("Comin' Home, Baby"), and even Little Feat ("Willin'") making the scene; Hashimoto further makes room for cult icons spanning from Mose Allison ("Baby, Please Don't Go") to Aztec Camera ("Down the Dip") -- in short, another winning collection that acknowledges no boundaries of time or place.