VARIOUS; Cool Heat – The Best of CTI (Robinsongs)

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In 1967 frustrated jazz trumpeter, Creed Taylor was allowed by A&M records to set up his own jazz label – CTI (Creed Taylor Incorporated). The label allowed the indulgence because Virginian-born Taylor had previously enjoyed success as producer and A&R exec at labels like Bethlehem, Impulse and Verve. His new imprint enjoyed quick success with artists like Wes Montgomery, Quincy Jones and a young guitarist named George Benson. Ever-ambitious, in 1970 Taylor severed his link with A&M and went out on his own and his faith in his own ability was justified as the newly indie CTI (and its Kudu subsidiary) continued to score hits and win accolades.

Serious jazz buffs will know all about CTI and most likely have all the label’s key discs in their libraries but for those less familiar with the CTI catalogue, this new 2 CD, 25 track compilation serves as a first rate introduction.

The collection (which focuses on CTI output between 1970 – 1980) brings together all of CTI’s big hitters and their big hits – so enjoy (again) things like Deodato’s ‘Also Sprach Zarathusa’, Lalo Schifrin’s take of the famous ‘Jaws’ theme, Bob James’ ‘Westchester Lady’, Hank Crawford’s ‘Wildflower’, George Benson’s ‘Supership’ and Ron Carter’s ‘Barreta’s Theme’.

Soul fans can luxuriate with Patti Austin’s ever-lovely ‘Say You Love’ and can remind themselves that soul can be harrowing too via Esther Philips’ ever-haunting ‘Home is Where The Hatred Is’.

The sleeve notes for the album come from SOULANDJAZZANDFUNK’S Charles Waring, so quality and excellence are both guaranteed.

(BB) 4/5