Various Artists

Slow Jams: On the Jazz Tip, Vol. 3

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Like its two predecessors, Slow Jams: On the Jazz Tip, Vol. 3 offers a weird combination of soul-jazz, smooth jazz, hard bop and groove, most of which are culled from the Blue Note and Capitol vaults. It often seems like two albums pieced together. One has great organic soul-jazz from Herbie Hancock ("Maiden Voyage"), Lee Morgan ("The Sidewinder"), Lou Rawls & Les McCann "Willow Weep for Me") and Horace Silver ("Song for My Father"); the other has smooth fusion and quiet storm from Phyllis Hyman ("The Answer Is You"), Jon Lucien ("Rashida"), Nancy Wilson ("Guess Who I Saw Today"), Grover Washington, Jr. ("Ain't No Sunshine") and Esther Phillips ("From a Whisper to a Scream"). A couple of cuts from Hugh Masekela ("Bajabula Bonke (The Healing Song)") and Gil Scott-Heron ("Pieces of a Man") fall in between the cracks, but the result is the same -- these are songs that may share similar inspirations, but wind up sounding quite different. As a result, the listen isn't quite as smooth as one might hope, but there are enough good performances and mood music to make it worthwhile for fans of smooth jazz, soul-jazz and cool jazz.

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