Various Artists

Slow Jams: On the Jazz Tip, Vol. 4

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Slow Jams: On the Jazz Tip, Vol. 4 is quite simliar to its predecessors in that it mixes earthy soul-jazz with smooth fusion. Both styles are supposed to sound "cool," but they are actually opposed, since the groove is grittier in soul-jazz than it is in fusion. Fortunately, most of these cuts here fall into one specific style, which gives the collection a better, cohesive feel. That style is soul-jazz. At least six of the tracks -- Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers' "Moanin'," Donald Byrd's "Fancy Free," Cannonball Adderley's "Country Preacher," Eddie Harris' "Listen Here," Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island" and Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery's "Night Train" -- plus maybe Hugh Masakela's "Grazing in the Grass," fall into the soul-jazz category. That means Carmen McRae's "Can't Hide Love" and John Klemmer's "My Love Has Butterfly Wings" stick out like smooth thumbs, but they can easily be programmed out, thereby making Slow Jams: On the Jazz Tip, Vol. 4 into a brief, coolly grooving soul-jazz record.

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