Various Artists


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If nothing else, this compilation demonstrates that the Impulse! label had an extremely eclectic roster. But beyond that, it's hard to know what to make of it; funk from Mel Brown and airy smooth jazz from John Klemmer sit uncomfortably near wild avant-garde jazz from Sam Rivers and John Coltrane, and nearly all of the tracks fade after about three minutes or so. Many of the pieces here, like Dewey Redman's cathartic free blast "Sunlanding," Gato Barbieri's polyrhythmic workout "La China Leoncia," and the flute and tenor saxophone sections of Rivers' exploratory trio recording Streams, are outstanding, but that's hardly the point. Three-minute samples, nice as some of them are, merely whet the appetite, and everything on Impulsively! has been released on other albums. In addition, many of these songs are so different from each other that few listeners are likely to enjoy all of the music here. Impulsively! still might be valuable, however, to DJs looking to present short segments of these artists' work for airplay.

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