Music Review

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

Meet the new talent

Justice Records Sampler: The First Year
Justice Records Sampler: The First Year
By various artists

Justice Records: 1992

Buy it on CD now from
Buy it now

This review first appeared in the September 18, 1992 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

One of the most promising trends to come out of the 1980s was the proliferation of new, small independent recording labels taking advantage of the lower start-up cost of issuing in CD instead of vinyl.

One of those labels was Justice Record Co., out of Houston, specializing in jazz.

Most of the artists featured on this compilation aren't household names, the exception being veteran guitarist Herb Ellis.

But if the musicians here aren't famous, it shouldn't be taken to mean they aren't good. They are; very good, actually.

In fact, the only complaint with this album – which features a representative share of women artists, a rarity in jazz – is an incorrect song credit. Barbara Lynn Ozen's "You'll Lose a Good Thing" (performed here with grit and verve by vocalist Wendi Slaton) is credited to a Huey Meaux. Inexcusable, but correctable.

On the upside, the music needs no excuses, showing imagination as well as a broad range of styles, from vocalist Wendi Slaton's R&B/blues stylings to pianist Stefan Karlsson's straight-ahead jazz to Ellis' more traditional playing.

There isn't a bad cut here, and a compilation such as this is a nice way to discover new talent inexpensively.