It's hard, after immersion in the rousing Fela Kuti box set, not to find this four-CD anthology culled from the jazz label CTI Records, as somewhat limp by comparison.
Recording between 1970 and 1976, Creed Taylor Incorporated represented jazz as a neatly-manicured lifestyle choice, the diametric opposite of more challenging approaches like ECM's austere chamber-jazz. The CTI method is epitomised by the easy grace of Grover Washington Jr's "Mister Magic", which along with Deodato's groovy interpretation of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" supplied the label's biggest hit. Now highly prized by Rare Groove crate-diggers in search of cool breaks, CTI's greatest contribution was perhaps the introduction into the jazz mainstream of the Brazilian styles represented here by Astrud Gilberto and Airto Moreira.
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