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Various Artists: Jazz For A Rainy Afternoon

Jim Santella By

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Chill out. Calm down. Mellow. Put those financial statements in the desk drawer, throw another log on the fire, curl up on the sofa and listen to this compilation. Producer Joel Dorn figured these reissued items would have that effect on listeners, and they do. Warren Vache's portrayal of "I Can't Get Started," with piano trio, lifts his cornet voice high above your head. "St. Louis Blues" comes from the quintet of vibraphonist Johnny Lytle, guitarist Melvin Sparks, organist David Braham and bass & drums. Sonny Criss, Dolo Coker, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Jimmie Smith deliver "My Ideal." Their alto saxophone and piano embellishments make for a lovely ballad.

Woody Shaw's quintet with trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Carl Allen perform "Imagination" with the spotlight lingering on Shaw's pleasant trumpet tone. David "Fathead" Newman's "Everything Must Change" isn't as sonorous as most of the others, Houston Person's "Talk of the Town" is a bit too forceful, and Charles Brown's piano on " `Round Midnight" is just a little too percussive.

However, the background function of the album takes care of everything, as one tune melts into the next. "Blue In Green" comes from the quintet of trumpeter Wallace Roney, tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Charnett Moffett, and drummer Tony Williams in a Miles Davis tribute. Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear" is presented by pianist Hank Jones with bassist George Duvivier and drummer Ben Riley. They court this venerable acquaintance with soft brushes over the drumheads and watery melodic figures that run up and down the keyboard. 32 Jazz has released a similar compilation called Jazz For The Quiet Times. I've not yet had a chance to sit down and listen to that one, but chances are it'll be perfect for thatnextrainy day.

Track Listing: `Round Midnight; Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most; Everything Must Change; A Tribute To A Rose; Blue In Green; Talk Of The Town; Ruby My Dear; I Can't Get Started; My Ideal; St. Louis Blues; Imagination.

| Record Label: 32 Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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