As a record label, Impulse has proven through the years that it does not favor one faction of jazz over any other. This compilation album shows that attitude beautifully, with selections from several jazz greats, including Oliver Nelson, Charles Mingus, Earl Hines, Albert Ayler, and John Handy. The album is a mix of eras, styles, and influences, showing Impulse’s desire to record everything from traditional jazz to the most innovating and challenging works being produced. This album reflects what could be called "the golden age of jazz", from the late Fifties to Seventies when more jazz greats were alive and playing than ever before or since, when the atmosphere was charged with political and social tensions that demanded expression. It was in this situation that Impulse thrived, its independent thinking supported by the parent company of ABC-Paramount Record Corporation.
The label’s interest in modern and supposedly minimally marketable musicians stemmed from their success with one musician in particular. He is one we all know and love, and this compilation is dedicated to him. When he died in 1967, Impulse had already been dubbed "The House That Trane Built". Not only did he provide popularity for the label, but inspiration for all those who followed him. This album is about him and his influences on other Impulse artists. The famous selection of "A Love Supreme" has been included on the album as a reminder of all that Coltrane was and still is.
This album is all classics, put into an easy, accessible compilation. After listening to it a few times you can pick out the different influences, the foremost being Coltrane. It's an interesting trip through history and truly is the best of Impulse.