Take Four: The Mojo Jazz Box – Various Artists

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Album Review by EDF

For those who are unaware of the fact, jazz has been around for nearly one hundred years. While America is the birthplace of jazz, this music is not exclusively American and its influence can be heard all over the world. To compile a set of songs that best represent jazz is no easy task and that is what this collection tries to do. To highlight some of the different styles of jazz, this collection is split over four CD’s.

The first CD is ‘straight jazz’ and this represents the basic structure of jazz. The second CD is ‘vocal’ and here we find all manners of vocal styles from ballads to swing. The third CD is ‘soul & funk’ highlighting how one genre of music can successfully blend with another genre to come up with something that is both unpredictable and exciting. The final CD, ‘free jazz’, is the most challenging as we enter territory where the music goes off into the unknown.

Nearly anyone and everyone famous within the jazz genre are represented here. As I mentioned earlier this is not a definite collection but is to entice the listener in to explore more of what jazz has to offer. For those who have been lifelong jazz fans will be familiar with most of the tracks. If this is the sort of genre that you want to really get to know better, then this is one of the better collections to set you on your way.

5 stars