One thing about most samplers is that they don't give you a full variety. Concord Records, on the other hand, chooses to use their dozen tunes to show the full cornucopia of their label. The disc starts out with a fresh new face in the jazz scene, Peter Cincotti. Cincotti delivers mellow vocals on Are You The One. So, if you like the vocal stylings of Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr, or John Pizzarelli, then you'll dig Peter Cincotti.
Next up is a track from Chick Corea's Rendezvous in New York disc. The tune is Armando's Rhumba, a classic staple in the Corea repertoire. This version is slightly different. This features Chick in a duet with vocalist extraordinaire, Bobby McFerrin. Does this track ever deliver!!!
Probably the most amazing duet of the disc is that between Diane Schuur and Karrin Allyson. They sing Stay Away From Bill, and unlike most duets with two individual vocalists, they actually harmonize extremely well!!! The band is great on this track, the vibe is cunning, aloof, and cool, and it can be found on Diane's Midnight album on Concord Records.
Later on in the sampler, is the classic West Coast Cool School standard, Walkin' Shoes, and the composer, Gerry Mulligan, is playing it Live in Berlin. As far as I'm concerned, anything that says "Gerry Mulligan" is cool enough for me!
Other standout tracks include the spicy salsa flavoredLa Cuna by Pete Escovedo, the brilliant tune Licks from Scott Hamilton, and Three Faces by bassist John Patitucci. There really isn't a bad song on this sampler.
Last Note: Concord Records is coming on strong and gaining more popularity than ever before among various jazz communities. They are bringing to the table fresh faces with tremendous talent, as well as sustaining the legacy of many jazz giants. If you are a true jazz aficionado, watch for some classic gems to come out of Concord Records.