Two good compilations were released domestically in the last few weeks.
Chillout Jazz comes from the Benz-Street. I’m listening to this in the middle of the night (love those three-day weekends) and I can attest that it sets a good late-night vibe. It pulls the majority of the artists from the Good Looking label so it has LTJ Bukem, Sian, and Poets of Thought. The remaining ten tracks are selections from Mezzoforte, Ming, Tok Tok Tok, Lazar, Marcel, Dr. Jazz’s Universal Remedy, Carbuncle, and John Beltran, and Gerwin Eisenhauer. Among the highlights are Mezzoforte’s punchy “Four Corners,” John Beltran featuring Sol Set’s vocalese “Aztec Girl,” and Cedar’s bass-driven “Golden.”
Acid Jazz: The Essential Album lives up to its name. This two-CD monster compilation features 30 tracks, many of which are signature tracks of the genre. Who doesn’t know Us3’s “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)”? How about the Brand New Heavies’ “Dream Come True” or “Never Stop,” Arrested Development’s “People Everyday,” Jamiroquai’s “Space Cowboy,” Nuyorican Soul’s “Black Gold of the Sun,” and “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” from Digable Planets?
Multiple labels are traversed to get the best representation for this collection. Incognito with Jocelyn Brown’s “Always There” is included as well as music from the James Taylor Quartet, D’Influence, United Future Organization, Snowboy, Night Trains, Young Disciples, Sunship, and DJ Spinna. On top of the sounds, Quinton Scott has supplied detailed liner notes for every track.
As far as I’m concerned, this is the definitive acid jazz compilation. Acid Jazz: The Essential Album is what I’ll be referring people to when they ask about the music I listen to.