This album is a bargain-priced sampler of material released by the German Nagel-Heyer label, with its stable of top-ranked jazz performers. Although most of the label's releases are mainstream, traditional, and swing, there is some more modern material reflected on this sampler. "Groove Machine" features some excellent bop-tinged playing by the Martin Sasse Quartet, from its Here We Come CD. Another cut that takes a more progressive stance is guitarist James Chirillo's "Blues for Valerie." There's solid blues in "Night Out" -- featuring Chris Potter's tenor -- from Joachim Schoenecker's In the Moment. Harry Allen's Ben Webster-like "But Beautiful" is still another outstanding offering. For vocal fans, there's Marty Elkins doing "Fuse Blues" and Byron Stripling looking for "a big fat mama" because he's "Tired of Pretty Women." But, while uniformly good, none of these tracks are classic, today or tomorrow, in the sense the term is used to describe Louis Armstrong's "West End Blues," John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, Johnny Hartman's "Lush Life," or other works that form the foundation of the music called jazz. The music on this album can stand on its own without the puffery implied by the title. If you want the whole thing instead of just a snippet, details about the albums from which this music was taken are in the liner notes. Otherwise, you won't go wrong with the tastes on this CD.
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan