Various Artists

The Best Jazz Is Played with Verve

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The early '90s saw the Verve label revived, reissuing older material, and signing current day artists. This ten-song sampler with four well-known jazz icons plus saxophonist Maceo Parker gave the public a taste of what Verve was offering in a contemporary era, while attempting to stay close to their established tradition. While vocalists Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, and Betty Carter were at the far end of their careers, they still were very good, while tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson was at his zenith. Parker was delving into jazz after a long and storied career as a soul-funk artist alongside James Brown. Though noble in the attempt, Parker's roots were showing through a thinly veiled swing component. For a couple of bucks this sampler is not bad, but fans of any of these artists will want to go for the full treatment on any one of their fine efforts for this label, which has always exuded quality.

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