Various Artists

RCA Victor 80th Anniversary, Vol. 8

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The final of the eight 1997 CDs that sample the RCA catalog of the past 80 years does its best to try to promote RCA's relevance as a jazz label, but most of these selections are relatively insignificant. Roy Hargrove, Marcus Roberts, Don Braden, Tom Harrell, Danilo Perez and Antonio Hart primarily stick to hard bop in their numbers; the vocals of Carmen McRae, Dominique Eade and Vanessa Rubin are pleasing, if not that memorable; and Cleo Laine somehow slips into her third volume. Only Steve Coleman's "Drop Kick Live" (and to an extent the numbers by Harrell and Perez) attempts to push the music forward beyond hard bop and into the 1990s. The first three volumes in this series are the ones to get.

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