Various Artists

Eastern & Hip: Eastern Jazz Grooves from the Atlantic and Warner Vaults

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For a brief but pivotal moment during the late '60s and early '70s, jazz fed not only on its own innovations but also embraced the hippie counterculture, radical politics, and most importantly, Eastern mysticism with unprecedented fervor in a multi-car pile-up of traditions, beliefs, and aesthetics that resulted in a gloriously transcendent and tripped-out explosion of sound and sensibility. Eastern & Hip: Eastern Jazz Grooves From the Atlantic and Warner Vaults assembles 11 cuts that perfectly embody the era in question, boasting an otherworldly marriage of wah-wah guitars, celestial keyboards, and serpentine beats that evoke Indian and Middle Eastern musical traditions but neither slip into the dilettantism of so much exotica nor sell out the creative visions of the artists in question. A seamless, involving listen, this is highlighted by Don Ralke's "Ritual of the Cobra," Yusef Lateef's "Like It Is," Herbie Mann's "The Oud and the Pussycat," and Charlie Mariano's "Himalaya."