May 28, 2011 12:38 am

Various Artists: First Impulse

 

Various Artists

First Impulse

(Impulse)

The six albums and out-takes on this four-CD, 50th anniversary set don’t need the coffee-table packaging for their star status. The albums by Gil Evans, Oliver Nelson and John Coltrane are masterworks that contain some of the most beautiful jazz ever recorded, and the other three are not far behind.

The whole shebang was producer Creed Taylor’s idea, but he left Impulse as soon as it was up and running, the same year it was founded, in 1961. Ashley Khan’s illustrated notes tell the story, but the music speaks for itself.

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