Various Head Jazz

We have a winner for the worst CD cover of 2001. This juxtaposition of Rene Magritte's "False Mirror" with the title Head Jazz is surely the definition of pretension. Fortunately, the music saves the day; this compilation is put together by noted avant-jazz producer Joel Dorn, and his son Adam (aka Mocean Worker). The Dorns delve through mostly forgotten releases on Atlantic Records from 1959 through the late '70s to come up with an odd, trippy collection of artefacts paying homage to Magritte and Fellini. The tracks are ever so slightly edited into one another; perhaps this is Adam's DJ sensibility coming through. This is jazz from the studio, the kind that the elder Dorn helped craft in the late '60s and '70s. From the lush strings of Jimmy Scott's "Day By Day" and the tape echo madness of Eddie Harris' "Silver Cycles" to Joe Zawinul's slow-cooking "Soul of a Village" this is headphone jazz from the get go. In fact, some of it may not strike you as jazz at all, but as coherent studio experimentation. Light up a joss stick and enjoy the mellow yet freaky vibes. (M)