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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 20, 2011
This is a real winner. Anyone who has even the slightest fondness for jazz should pick it up. It's got a wide variety of styles, and the selections are really good, not throwaways.

To me, the standouts in this excellent mix were:

"Scrabble" by Lorraine Feather, a hilarious and Cole Porter-esque ditty about a nerdy boyfriend who's infuriatingly unbeatable at Scrabble. "He knows a full array of U-less Q words -- every time we play I pick up new words!"

"Guaji-Rita," a slinky little Latin piano number by Hector Martignon.

"Elysian Fields," a lovely, elegiac waves-of-synths song from venerable new-ager Deuter.

I wasn't enamored with "Putt Jattan Da," a techno-ethno Bollywoodish dance number, but it's not my kinda thing, so maybe I'm not the best judge of its quality. Data point: the moment it came on, my 5-year-old son ran into the room, delighted, and asked what this wonderful music was. He then commenced to get down in his unique style, best described as an energetic hybrid of Mick Jagger and Charo. So maybe I'm misjudging the song.

"The Rebel Piper" by The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is probably the weakest number, but I've always liked the bizarre, so I say: Disco bagpipes? Hey, go for it!

All in all, another repeat-listen-worthy free sampler from Amazon. Keep 'em coming, guys!
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Some fantastic jazz singles here, with a couple bizarre tracks at the end. James Moody's piece on this album is a real gem -- his saxophone playing will be sorely missed -- and this track is a fitting memorial. Freddy Hubbard's "The Intrepid Fox" is phenomenal and shows off both his technical proficiency and emotional expressiveness. The remaining tracks are all good solid performances, ranging from bebop to latin jazz, with the last two baffling me as to why they were included. One is an Indian tune that is quite catchy but feels more pop than jazz, and the then one bizarre folk/disco Scottish bagpipe piece that I have no words to describe! And I even learned to play bagpipes when I was young, so there is no prejudice as to the use of instruments.

Thank you Allegro for sharing this nice Jazz compilation!
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on May 28, 2012
Really nice music to listen to also makes great background/ambient music as well. The sound quality is also really good on these there variable bit rate V0 encoded mp3 files like most mp3's from amazon but listen to these decent quality stereo or headphones and your in for a treat. Most modern music is mastered poorly with heavy clipping and compression to the sound(look up loudness war) so its nice to hear high quality music like this with some actual dynamic range for once! The actual collection is a mix of some instrumental jazz and some accompanied by vocals and I enjoyed most of the songs in this collection really only the last 3 stand out as out of place but the other songs are good to great and would make an excellent addition to any one looking to expand there jazz collection and considering its free means you have nothing to lose by trying highly recommend you download this along with the other 3 allegro 2011 sampler packs.
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on November 10, 2012
Allegro 2011 Winter Sampler is described as a classical music sampler. The classification error notwithstanding, it's not classical, but the music is wonder wonderful.

I downloaded this collection a while ago, and have enjoyed the music quite a bit, but had a hard time deciding how to write a review since the mix cannot be placed into any category. Additionally, many of the songs are instrumental. Maybe the producers couldn't figure out how to classify it, either. So I'll just jump in, and give the description a try, one song at a time.

"O.P. Update" is a jazz instrumental. It starts with a saxophone solo, is followed by a bass solo, and wraps up with a sax solo. It's a very pleasant lounge song.

"Scrabble," is very enjoyable, and is my favorite song on the album. Lorraine Feather's voice is beautiful and rich emotion. The song does a great job of using rhythm to capture the emotions of a Scrabble player. The jazz tune is upbeat, lively, and catchy. The lyrics in the song just tickle me pink! By the way, if you like "Scrabble," you'd probably also enjoy the story, "The Scrabble Tournament," included in the book Wise Men and Other Stories," by Mike O'Mary. Wise Men and Other Stories

"Illusion" is a blues song with Gregory Porter, accompanied by piano. The story is about a lost love, and I love listening to his soothing voice.

"Guaji-Rita" is an instrumental jazz with a Latin flavor.

"The Intrepid Fox" has a bright melody with a lot of trumpet riffs.

"Smitty's Joint" is made up of a piano lead with a fast tempo.

"Lou's Idea" starts with a full jazz band jam session, goes on to a solo on the xylophone, followed by the bass, then the tenor sax, then the piano and then the rest of the band finally joins back in to bring the song full circle.

"Elysians Fields" new age song with very mellow woodwind of some kind. The instrument sounds a bit like a cross between an oboe, a flute, a recorder and a violin. It's very pretty and the melody is haunting. This is probably the closest you're going to get to classical in this collection. :)

"Putt Jattan Da" - The artist is from Punjab, India, and the song carries an Indian flavor with a reedy instrument and strong male lead vocals. This is an energetic tune, and it's extremely enjoyable.

"The Rebel Piper" provides a taste of Scotland with bag pipes and snare drums.

Yes, music is the universal language.
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on January 19, 2013
Allegro 2011 Winter Sampler has some good music and some so-so music in it. I get alot of the sampler CD's and I never quite understand if this is just their labels sample of artists...or it's supposed to be a winter style blend of music. I find that I like a few songs on the albums, but the genres switch up too much so that you don't really listen to the whole album.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 4, 2013
These songs are obviously well preformed ~ but a bit heavier Classical / Jazz for my taste.
However ~ I very much like 'Elysian Fields'. It's a beautiful ~ easy listening soothing track.
For me ~ it's the high-light of this album.
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on November 28, 2012
I downloaded this from Amazon and was pleasantly surprised. The artists are varied, but the music is in my opinion all good. I thought it would be more Christmas oriented, but I will play the tunes after the holidays.
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on September 26, 2013
i see why this album was free. There are some ok songs on here but it was clearly meant to be played in the background while house work is done. The first track is a very upbeat and catchy song about a scrable battle. still makes me smile
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on January 3, 2014
The good news is the music is free, The bad news is that you listening to it, The first seven songs lead me to believe they were trying to crate an early 50's jazz album. then the last three songs were "World Music", Putt Jattan Da made me feel I was sitting in a theater watching a Bollywood movie with all sorts of characters dancing around, raising there hands and yelling hey! hey! hey! I know it is a sampler but to hear bagpipes after being in Bangalore for 4 minutes, come on! For the most part I found the songs with lyrics were boring and had no message and were way too wordy, The instrumentals were a collection of musicians competing to perform their solos and the music suffered from lack of collaboration and direction. The songs were extended well beyond what I was willing to listen to!. I will listen to classical music, FM formatted rock albums and good jazz for six to eight minutes but this was intolerable Elysian Fields was tuneful and seemed to have a purpose and progression. It also had the right length for the song. I would not buy this collection and most likely not listen to it ever again. I should be able to meet the producer in line at the unemployment office
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VINE VOICEon August 25, 2011
Allegro 2011 Winter Sampler is a jazz album by various artists and about 45 minutes long. My favoirt piece is the Illusion which has a vocalist. The alumn is a blend of straight jazz and toned down jazz. It works for me.
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