Various Artists

Fireside Jazz

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Released on Rhino/Atlantic but looking for all the world like a 32 Jazz offering (it is produced from that label's leader, Joel Dorn, plus boasts his liner notes), Fireside Jazz is admittedly a mood music album, a record designed to be the soundtrack to warm, romantic evenings by the fireplace. Where some mood music places the mood above the music, this treats both equally, largely because it relies on the extensive Atlantic jazz vaults for its source material. Consequently, there's a bunch of first-rate talent here -- Modern Jazz Quartet, Les McCann, Ray Charles, David Newman, Eddie Harris, Dizzy Gillespie, Hank Crawford, among others -- that give this substance as well as atmosphere. No, it's not necessary for anyone that is anything close to a serious jazz collector, yet this is first-rate romantic music.

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