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Various Artists: Roots of Jazz Funk

Roots of Jazz Funk (MVP 50012-2,78:35) is an educational tool more than anything else, even if some of the selections seem a bit puzzling (it’s hard to see where Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” fits into a discussion of “jazz funk”). While the other cuts here aren’t anything new to observers of the jazz tradition, they are still good listening, especially for novice jazzbos looking for the roots of ’90s post-neo-trad cool: Wes Montgomery’s version of “Freddie the Freeloader,” Jimmy Smith’s “Back at the Chicken Shack,” Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ “Moanin” and Nat Adderley’s “Work Song” (live from Japan with the Cannonball Adderley quintet).

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