The third entry in this series directs its focus on the segment of the cigar-smoking crowd who equate listening to bebop-inspired music with enjoying a good stogie. Actually more pop-oriented than anything else, Cool Smokes samples 14 tracks from a variety of sources that will appeal to those who like their jazz lazy and languid. Although this collection is a bit of a hodgepodge (as are the other volumes in this series), the highlights still abound, including a wistful and airy "Our Love Is Here To Stay" by Ben Webster, "Parker's Mood" by James Moody (with vocal from King Pleasure), the kickoff track "Nancy (With The Laughing Face)" by John Coltrane, a nice Lester Young-influenced take on "The Man I Love" from Zoot Sims, "Israel" from Gerry Mulligan, two ballads from smooth vocalist Johnny Hartman (one with Illinois Jacquet in support), and a jumping "Wrapped Tight" from Coleman Hawkins. Oddball entries include a Shirley Scott jazz vocal turn on the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love," Dizzy Gillespie's seven-minute-plus scat-goes-Latin "Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac" and Odell Brown's blues groove on Donovan's "Mellow Yellow." As an easy listening jazz collection, this compilation acquits itself admirably and will have value to fans of the form. As with most Hip-O releases, no liner notes, recording dates or personnel are to be found anywhere in the booklet.
AllMusic Review by Cub Koda