I love these "Late Night Tales" CDs, having bought 5 in the series already. The basic theme --- having an artist choose songs that they think are special or worthy or attention, or perhaps ones that influenced their own sound --- is a terrific idea, and shows the diversity of influences in the music of bands such as Belle and Sebastian.
Maybe this CD won't automatically appeal to all Belle and Sebastian fans, seeing as how they only have one track on here (a darn cool cover of the Primitives hit "Crash"), but I would think anyone who listens to that group would be open-minded enough to give this CD a listen and perhaps discover some appealing new songs. I sure did. That's another one of the cool things about this "Late Night Tales" series; the featured artist always chooses a few obscure tracks by bands that aren't well known, but are almost always great choices.
On this CD, some of those "new to my ears" selections that made a very favorable impression include "A Time for Us" by Joe Pass (great jazz guitarist but this track also has a female vocal), "Soul Vibrations" by Dorothy Ashby (cool jazz harpist), "Bird of Space" by Bonnie Dobson (nice folk tune), "Streets of Derry" by Trees (sounds a lot like Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention), and "Still Thinking of You" by Steve Parks (I could have sworn this was Paul Weller singing!). I also love the tracks by Tory Y Moi, the Lovin' Spoonful, Broadcast, and the Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatqe. Hey, it's all good!
As with the other CDs in this series, you get a booklet that has a short writeup on each track, telling why the band member who choose that song thought it was noteworthy. Spanning several decades of music (from the 1960s to the present decade) this compilation flows well and offers some truly excellent music. Give it a chance and prepare to be impressed.