Various Artists

Even Mo' Mod Jazz

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The third in a series of collections of danceable jazz from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s that wasn't afraid to throw in rock, soul, pop, and blues elements (the prior volumes being Mod Jazz and Mo' Mod Jazz). What makes this stand out from other compilations of the sort, not to mention most jazz compilations of any sort, is its sheer irreverence and willingness to mix in tracks that might be considered inappropriate, or downright blasphemous, by purists. Thus you get esteemed veterans like Woody Herman doing modern rock and psychedelic hits, and while that's not always a great thing (Ella Fitzgerald's "Get Ready" doesn't come off), it's a gas to hear, for instance, Jackie Wilson singing "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" with Count Basie. It's a pretty unpredictable, but usually quite cool, mix of singers, instrumentalists, and styles, from Bobby Bland doing "Honey Child" and the Young-Holt Trio's lounge jazz-soul to Billy Stewart's typically strange interpretation of "Secret Love," Andy Williams' (yes, that Andy Williams) loosening up on the mambo "House of Bamboo," Trini Lopez doing "Unchain My Heart," and Googie Rene doing loopy Vegas-style jazz on "Caesar's Pad." Jazz can be fun, and not beyond some worthwhile kitsch, as this anthology proves despite some duff spots.

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