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Apparently caught up in the millennial rush to get the most out of their catalogs (and apparently a little late in doing so), Telarc has assembled a short set of "signature songs" – songs for which their performers were (apparently) best known. From Cab Calloway’s "Minnie the Moocher" to Dave Brubeck’s "Take 5," these are some of their past performers’ most memorable musical meanderings. And while not every version may be the quintessential (who can forget Cab’s performance in "The Blues Brothers" or earlier takes where his scat was sharper?) or even necessarily related to the given artist (Liza Minelli did "New York, New York"?), the collection of artists and songs is significant at least.
Among the truly unique offerings are some star-studded live shots of Clark Terry’s ingeniously impeded "Mumbles" and Lionel Hampton’s moaning and moving "Flyin’ Home." In the end, it is hard to say which is the greater disappointmentthat the album is not filled with the most signature versions of some of these songs or that it is so short.
Track Listing: 1. Lullaby of Birdland - George Shearing
2. Minnie the Moocher [#] - Cab Calloway
3. Take Five - Dave Brubeck
4. Con Alma [Live] - Dizzy Gillespie
5. Poinciana [#] - Ahmad Jamal
6. Mumbles - Clark Terry
7. Misty - Erroll Garner
8. Flyin' Home [Live] - Lionel Hampton
9. New York, New York [Live] - Liza Minnelli
Personnel: Dave Brubeck - piano
Cab Calloway -- vocals
Erroll Garner - piano
Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet
Lionel Hampton - vibes
Ahmad Jamal - piano
Liza Minnelli - vocals
George Shearing - piano
Clark Terry -- vocal, flugelhorn
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.