Various Ready or Not 2

The sequel to the much talked about first volume surpasses it in quality. By now we’re aware that the CBC is sitting on a vast storehouse of barely-heard jazz archives. The first volume was a nice wakeup call, but judging by this second volume, the track selection was underwhelming. Volume two picks up the pace with harder grooving pieces. The version of "Mas Que Nada” by Emile Normand is the kind of track that rouses head nodders from their seats. Billy Robinson’s "Quebec On My Mind” is a justifiably sought after break-beat with some spontaneously soulful blowing. Along similar lines, Sadik Hakim’s "Greek Street Break In” has syncopated drum pattern most drum & bass producers would aspire to. Vancouver’s Sunship Ensemble work up a helluva sweat here with "Atlantic Rising.” Even the more reflective pieces make more of an impression: Roberta Flack’s "Trying Times” is a wonderful piece of message soul, delivered by 15-year-old Lynda Niles and the Montreal Black Community Youth Choir. Alvin Pall’s "Melancholy” could be the very definition of the word. Even newcomer Elizabeth Shepherd delivers the goods with an introspective version of "Ton Visage.” Ready or Not 2 contains a good half dozen memorably funky tracks, and it’s sequenced just right. (Do Right!)