Various Artists, Best Of Cookin’, Ubiquity URCD 063 (2CD, USA), 2000
This slammin' two-CD compilation collects works from the fabulous acid jazz compilations Home Cookin', Mo Cookin', Still Cookin', What's Cookin', and Is That Jazz?. Galactic, Greyboy, DJ Swingset, Sharpshooters and others contribute midlength jams that are a mix of soulful melodies, deep funk grooves, hip-hop beats, and rump-shaking dance music. While jazz has been influential in certain drum & bass circles since the late-'90s, these early-'90s neofusion hybrids serve as logical precursors and illuminate how well the artists on the set also serve the jam-band fans who've crossed over to improvised jazz largely on the strengths of funkateers like Medeski Martin & Wood and others. Even so, the tracks here sound incredibly fresh and fun, mixing live instruments and DJs for a party where everyone is playing spiritedly. At home on the dance floor or in the cocktail lounge, The Best of Cookin' is a fine reminder of the potency of acid jazz and a great introduction for electronic music fans who are interested in seeing a crucial early bridge between the jazz and DJ culture.