Various Artists

The Collection [Verve]

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Verve completed its Jazz Masters sampler CD series with this set. The 16 selections are all drawn from the 1950s and '60s except for Django Reinhardt's 1938 rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown" and Lester Young's 1949 version of "Polka Dots and Moonbeams." Although useful as an introduction for some beginners into the wonders of mainstream, hard bop and soul jazz, more serious listeners will see little point in acquiring this hodge-podge collection, especially since all but one or two numbers are currently in print as part of more coherent sets. In addition to Django and Young, such musicians as Lionel Hampton, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Kenny Burrell, Oliver Nelson, Jimmy Smith, Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan, Cal Tjader, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sarah Vaughan, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Chet Baker, Clifford Brown and Herbie Mann are represented.