This is the third in the 'Classic Mellow' series, which first appeared in 1994. It was originally issued by Beechwood Music as part of their extended 'Mastercuts' series, which was originally conceived and guided by Ian Dewhirst, with the stated aim of providing a means of exploring quality music that might previously have gone unnoticed by the musical mainstream. Dewhirst is a figure with a real pedigree and long standing involvement with, and dedication to, black music, and can usually be relied upon an to be indicative of quality in any musical compilation.
And with this collection he truly manages to balance the need to offer something popular (Anita Baker's 'Sweet Love' and Freddie Jackson's 'Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)') with tracks which might not be well known beyond the confines of a specialist genre (Shirley Jones' 'Do You Get Enough Love?'). And this is part of the attraction of this collection, Dewhirst manages to steer a course which ensures that each track contributes to the overall musical impression and mood (hence the title), yet each record can be appreciated in it's own right, outside of this particular context.
As always with this series Dewhirst provides useful liner notes which are designed to be as informative as possible, to allow the reader to contextualise the records to which they are listening. Furthermore it is quite likely that, having read them, the reader might be inspired to explore further the works of a particular artist (Jean Carn or Norman Connors for example), and in doing so Dewhirst is clearly seeking to give something 'back' to the artists and music which has so inspired him.
This is possibly the strongest issue in the 'Classic Mellow' series, and it was also the last that Dewhirst compiled. As with all the 'Mastercuts' compilations, this title was issued on a single cd and double vinyl, and whilst both have been deleted (and Beechwood Music Ltd no longer exists) it is still possible to find copies in both formats.
This compilation is strongly recommended, and is a particularly good example of how a compilation should be presented, whilst clearly retaining sight of the importance of the musical substance.
Buy with complete confidence, and consider exploring the earlier two issues in the 'Classic Mellow' series.