Various Artists

Jazz Bistro: For the Soul

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Each album in this three-disc set from Madacy Records is rather short, but the sheer random diversity of the jazz and uptown blues tracks found here make it an affecting set. Highlights include a pair of Hoagy Carmichael songs ("Georgia on My Mind," with Bix Beiderbecke on cornet, and the venerable "Stardust" in a Carmichael solo version), another pair of instrumentals from Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli ("Beyond the Sea," "Minor Swing"), solid singing and trombone from Jack Teagarden on "St. Louis Blues," and a beautiful track from Sidney Bechet called "Sidney's Blues." Also impressive here are Big Joe Turner's urban blues take on "Careless Love," and a version of "New Vine Street Blues" by Bennie Moten & His Orchestra, featuring Eddie Durham on guitar. The selection may appear random, but track after track, the collection explores the subtle blues roots of jazz, and one begins to see a thoughtful design behind the construction of this anthology.

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