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Various Artists Lounge Story 2

I'd certainly support a ban on compilations with "lounge" in the title, but this one redeems itself by virtue of several excellent selections and quirky programming. Rather than a homogenous selection of glossy chill-out also-rans, Lounge Story 2 keeps it interesting with swank cocktail jazz by Mannix and a vaguely campy Carol Ventura song. Things really kick off with France's Patchwork's swinging take on "Summertime" and Kyoto Jazz Massive veteran Hajime Yoshizawa's alternately choppy and smooth broken beat/bossa nova on "I Am With You." This compilation isn't exactly essential, but the inclusion of Povo's "Shihab's Habit" and John Beltran's "Heaven & Earth" make it well worth your while.

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