Various Artists

Yet Mo' Mod Jazz

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Like its companion volumes in the Ace catalog (Mod Jazz and Mo' Mod Jazz), Yet Mo' Mod Jazz is a delightful anthology of hip but danceable jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, with a great deal of soul music often entering the equation. This 26-track CD may be more limited than the other Ace sets in its scope of source material, drawing exclusively from the Atlantic vaults between 1957 and 1969, but it's no less eclectic in its musical variety. There are fairly little-heard cuts by Ray Charles ("Get on the Right Track Baby," covered by Georgie Fame in the 1960s), King Curtis, Mose Allison, Esther Phillips, and LaVern Baker alongside quite cool excursions into pop-funk-soul-jazz by Les McCann, Eddie Harris, Johnny Griffin, Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, Charles Lloyd, and the Modern Jazz Quartet. It's also flexible enough to insert some mighty enjoyable cuts by artists that purists would snub as not jazzy or soulful enough to keep this company. Up that alley there's Mel Tormé, whose "Right Now" was the B-side of his famous "Comin' Home Baby"; Mark in Trio's pre-Santana Latin funk on "Tres Lobos"; the all-out honkin' sax R&B of Tommy Ridgley's "Jam Up Twist"; and Byron Lee & the Ska Kings, who do ska jazz fusion with "Watermelon Man Ska." Of course, Les McCann & Eddie Harris' "Compared to What" is a famous recording that's not been hard to get on other CDs, though its appearance here does not make it any less enjoyable. This is one of those rare anthologies, in any genre, where the quality is consistently high enough to make it difficult to single out favorites, and is also one of the jazz anthologies most likely to be enjoyed by rock and soul fans who don't consider jazz a main interest. [This U.K. import is not available for sale in North America.]

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