This compilation is a companion disc to the one that Impulse has released that features the same songs here, only re-mixed. These are the originals, in all of their original glory. This disc really reaches out to two specific audiences: the audience who prefers the originals to any kind of re-mixed or re-worked renditions, as well as to a new emerging audience of jazz listeners who really dig the re-mixes, but want to hear what the originals sound like.
There is a diverse grouping presented here. Everything from George Russell to Dizzy Gillespie. There's actually not a single "bad" track on the entire album. For jazz novices, this is a great opportunity to get to know some jazz favorites. For jazz aficionados, this is a great complilation of songs that remind you of some of your favorite tunes buried within your albums. Now, onto the tracks...
George Russell opens up the disc with "A Helluva Town," which features such artists as Art Farmer on trumpet, Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, Phil Woods on alto sax, Al Cohn on the tenor sax, Bill Evans on piano, Max Roach on drums and Jon Hendricks participating with narration. This is followed by the Charles Mingus Group playing one of Mingus' compositions "II B.S." Other standout tracks include Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody vocalizing on "Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac," as well as Clark Terry and Chico O'Farrill vocalizing some spoken word on "Spanish Rice." Archie Shepp funks things up a bit and gets things groovin' with "Attica Blues" before the disc closes out with Oliver Nelson's uber-famous "Stolen Moments" from his Impulse album Blues, and the Abstract Truth, which features Nelson alongside Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes.
This album is definitely full of classic jazz tracks, groovy jazz tracks, ethereal tracks and humorous ones too. As aforementioned, this is a disc for novices to aficionados. Impulse has done it again. What a compilation!