Les Jazz Modes were a small, short-lived experimental jazz group whose front line consisted of Charlie Rouse and French Horn player Julius Watkins, with pianist Gildo Mahones leading the rhythm section. They enlisted a variety of session players according to recording session needs. They cut a total of five albums in the 1950s for the Dawn and Atlantic labels: Jazzville, Les Jazz Modes (1956), Mood in Scarlet, The Most Happy Fella, and The Jazz Modes (1959). All have been out of print for decades. Those five records all appear on this two-disc set from Europe's Solar label. In addition, the producers have added Oscar Pettiford's Oscar Rides Again album -- which also featured Rouse and Watkins on the frontline -- and two albums by the Julius Watkins Sextet (New Faces-New Sound and The Julius Watkins Sextet, Vol. 2, both for Blue Note) that featured saxophonists Frank Foster and Hank Mobley (respectively) with Watkins -- the sound is far better than expected for a budget compilation, and the price is right. Other than seeking outrageously expensive original vinyl copies on auction and collector's sites, this is the only way to procure these hard-grooving sides.