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Various Artists: Jazz & Blues Compilation

You won’t find it easy, from the album title or the minimal notes, to define the approach of this San Francisco-based label, but you will find it easy to love. LifeForce’s founder, Dawan Muhammad, offers a fascinating surprise package of takes from the young label’s issues to date, themselves apparently drawn from a variety of studio and live sessions recorded over the past couple of decades. They involve world class musicians who’ve had a Bay Area presence at one time or another, a few well-known players from other parts, and some Bay treasures worthy of wider exposure. Muhammad himself belongs to the latter team, both as a suave tenor man and as an innovative composer in a variety of modes.

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