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Various Artists: Rebirth of Cool Four

The Re-Birth of Cool Collections are a good place to go if you want to check on the condition of the fractious post-hip/hop /dance/ groove jazz organism. This one-Rebirth of Cool Four (4th & B’Way 162-531-074-2, 77:12) comes down heavy on the expressionist pop/postmodern dance tip: LTJ Bukem’s “Horizons,” Lamb’s “Cotton Wool” and Smoke City’s “Underwater Love.” All the sound tweaking makes guitarist Ernest Ranglin’s “Surfin'” and Lewis Taylor’s “Bittersweet” seem slightly out of place. That doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. The Grant Green-meets-King Tubby flavor of the Ranglin track make it (and its parent album, Below the Bassline) a joy. And Taylor’s effort-a head-spinning marriage of Tricky-ish abstractions and digested classic soul-isms-leaves you waiting for his full-length debut.

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