The popularity of compilation CDs such as Now That is What I Call Music and WOW might be owed to the duplex cultural effects of an aging population longing for Top 40 radio and the declining attention span of the youth. This confluence of influence has prompted record labels of all stripes to mine their respective archives, assembling any order of collections for release. One of the better efforts in this respect is the two-disc set from Playboy Jazz, Jazz After Dark.
Distributed by Concord Record, Jazz After Dark borrows liberally from the Concord inventory, but not exclusively so. While Monty Alexander, Gene Harris, Karrin Allyson, Stan Getz, and Charlie Byrd all show up in grand style, so do Monk, Miles, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, and Diana Krall. Thus, the treasures of many quarters are on display in this collection.
The collection is thoughtfully put together with Disc 1 comprised of instrumental jazz and Disc 2 vocal jazz. Further, a romantic, after-hours ambiance is achieved by the careful selection of pieces. There are no real surprises here. Miles plays "My Funny Valentine," Ellington plays "Prelude to a Kiss," and Bill Evans plays "Blue in Green." On the vocal side, Karrin Allyson spins off "How Long Has This Been Going On," Diana Krall slides over "Body and Soul," and Mel Torme fogs the windows with "More than You Know." But taken as a collection, this release achieves what it sets out to achieve – to provide a single release that sets the perfect after hours jazz mood. It is a pleasant diversion from the cutting edge and a collection guaranteed to make the mainstream smile.
Track Listing: Disc 1: In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning, Monty Alexander; Prelude To A Kiss, Duke
Ellington; Everything Happens To Me, Gene Harris; My Funny Valentine, Miles Davis; Why Was I
Born, Kenny Burrell And John Coltrane; The Peacocks, Howard Alden; Spring Is Here, Stan Getz;
Blue In Green, Bill Evans; Angel Eyes, Scott Hamilton; Corcodova, Charlie Byrd And Ken Peplowski;