Various Artists

The Soul of Jazz, Vol. 1

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What you see is what you get, an excellent little compilation of the various faces of soul-jazz as presented by the Verve label with their amazing array of artists from Hugh Masekela to Willie Bobo and Herbie Mann on the one hand, and Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks (in an outstanding reading of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man") the Heath Brothers, and Teddy Edwards on the other. The track list is wonderfully varied, too: there's a smoking version of Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island" by Masekela, a pair by Jimmy Smith, and a big band -- a new entry by the acid jazz group the James Taylor Quartet, but they get it deep; and Wynton Kelly goes deep into soul and blues with "Escapade." Anyway you cut it, it comes out great.

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