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Various Artists: Detroit Jazz City

Not only is the title of this album great (pace Kiss), but so is the concept behind it, as cooked up by Blue Note Records president and Detroit native Don Was. First, compile a mix of new and old recordings to remind listeners how many great jazz players have come from the Motor City. Second, donate all proceeds from the compilation to Focus: HOPE, an organization that aids the poor and struggling in southeast Michigan. You can’t fault it idealistically, and aesthetically it hangs together pretty well too.

Recent Was-produced tracks alternate with classic Blue Note cuts throughout, a choice that emphasizes nifty connections. Bassist Marion Hayden opens the program with a blow-down-the-doors version of “The Uncrowned King”-whose composer, pianist Kenny Cox, takes the spotlight next on “You,” a tasty selection from his 1968 debut. Elvin Jones’ delightful take on “Reza,” from the same year, is followed by Spencer Barefield’s “Ghost Dancers,” which features the highly Elvin-ian fury of Sean Dobbins on drums. And so on.

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