Playboy Jazz: Cocktail Mix

Playboy has been putting out jazz compilations for some time, but it's surprising that they haven't jumped on the cocktail bandwagon until this release. Cocktail Mix features both original and updated takes on some classic glass-clinkers and manages to present all the songs without any excessive polish. Newer versions of classic cuts (like Tierney Sutton's take on the June Christy staple "Something Cool," or Mancini sax man Plas Johnson's reprise of his ubiquitous "Pink Panther" melody) are faithful to the originals in almost every sense. There are no eight-string bass workouts here, no synth strings, no funky drummer loops -- just straightforward versions that sound right at home alongside the Cal Tjader and Vince Guaraldi originals. Like Playboy itself, this mix is charmingly dated -- evoking suitably retro atmospherics for the gin-and-vermouth set. ~ J. Scott McClintock

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