Various Artists

Memphis Belles Jazz Collection

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A number of specific styles and artists might come to mind when one thinks of Memphis jazz, including old-time jug bands, Memphis Minnie, and the great raft of hard bop to post-bop instrumentalists. This collection of 12 contemporary singers is far removed from that tradition, much less legitimate jazz on any level, and veers more toward contemporary R&B and funk, with some swing thrown in. About the closest thing to legit is Joyce Cobb's fine take of "This Joint Is Jumpin'," and even Vicki Loveland's cover of the Eddie Harris funk dumpling "Freedom Jazz Dance" at least approaches something recognizable. Holly Shelton's Joni Mitchell cop of "Furry Sings the Blues" is quite phony. Then there's Cybill Shepherd: 'nuff said -- Minnie would be dismayed. In addition, the tracks are out of sequence.

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