Various Artists

Original Jazz Classics Sampler: Jazzland

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Jazzland Records was a subsidiary of Riverside and began in 1960 as a reissue label, recycling Riverside titles. Their first new release was the 1960 record from organist Mel Rhyne. "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" from that record is included here as are 13 other songs from the Jazzland archives. The label's mission was to spotlight new artists or artists they felt were worthy of wider recognition. Guys like Chuck Mangione and Don Elliott got their start on Jazzland. Blue Mitchell, Paul Gonsalves, and Junior Mance are players they recorded who had a pretty good name already. Jazzland also did a couple of one-off records with big-name artists. Tracks by Dexter Gordon and Red Garland certainly fit this bill. The collection flows very well; everyone is firmly rooted in the hard bop sound and almost all the artists play with fire, soul, and imagination. This is a great collection that plays like 74 minutes of great jazz radio. Highly recommended.

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