How Chrome Dreams managed to corral four of the most important jazz albums ever recorded in one box set is irrelevant in the face of such unabashed greatness. It's actually something of a masterstroke, bringing home the astonishing fact that Miles Davis' 'Kind Of Blue', Charles Mingus' 'Mingus Ah Um', Ornette Coleman's 'The Shape of Jazz To Come' and Dave Brubeck's 'Time Out' were all recorded within the space of a few months in 1959. Despite their diversity - rampantly exploring modal jazz, gospel blues, avant-garde, unusual time signatures and non-Western music - these works would alter the jazz idiom forever.
The set also boasts bonus tracks drawn from the artists' other albums of that period, while extensive sleevenotes by jazz columnist Charles Waring, who beautifully explains why these records were so seismic, are worth a star of their own. Self-confessed jazz thickos can see this collection as a gift from the gods; it's fantastic to be able to identify Brubeck's influence on The Nice or East Of Eden's encore 40 years ago as Mingus' Better Git It In Your Soul. Rarely was a title more apt as a piece of advice. Essential music in any record collection