Various Artists

Soul, Sound & Sax

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For all practical purposes, this 2007 collection on France's Cristal imprint is a haphazardly put together selection of tunes by saxophonists who all came up either as giants before, or came of age during or just after the bebop era's heyday. While the collection may claim in its title to be united by "soul," the only real connection here is "sax." How else can one explain selections bluesy bop selections like Charlie Parker's "Confirmation," juxtaposed against Don Byas's gorgeous reading of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," and Gerry Mulligan's sprightly, seamless, and warm "Get Happy?" There are 20 selections in all, and all of them are excellent, but that said, this set feels more than a little schizophrenic in presentation.

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