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Various Artists: CTI Records: The Cool Revolution

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Today’s jazz market could use more Creed Taylor-like figures. During a decade in which jazz played second fiddle to other genres such as rock, folk and soul, Taylor thrived by releasing albums that simultaneously attracted the jazz cognoscenti and the casual pop fan. With CTI and its main sister label, KUDU (Salvation, Greenstreet and Three Brothers are the other lesser-known sister imprints), Taylor crafted a signature aesthetic that nearly defined the sound of ’70s mainstream jazz. Even though CTI’s initial launch as an A&M subsidiary took place in 1967, the agreeable four-disc CTI Records: The Cool Revolution celebrates its 40th anniversary, beginning in 1970 when it went independent.

With Impulse Records!, Taylor had already displayed a fancy for distinctive packaging. He continued that with CTI by once again issuing captivating gatefold LPs, this time with Peter Turner’s striking artwork complemented by a lacquered veneer. The Cool Revolution comes with a handsome 20-page booklet that showcases the label’s iconic look as well as rare photographs and an informative liner essay by Dan Ouellette.

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