This is just an accumulation of tunes I like (10 of 'em, in no particular order):
There are some noteworthy performances here, over and above just the catchy tunes. Listen to the drummer on the Count Basic track. He plays a dragging fill-figure on the snare (it could be a rudiment?) that is just great. I also love the sound and feel of the drummer on the Chuck Mangione track. He's incredibly tight.
Actually, everything on the Chuck Mangione track sounds great. The saxophonist, Chris Vadala, has a sound that's hard to match. I think he stands out even against the smooth heavyweights on this list. I also think Steve Cole is underappreciated, and is certainly right up there with Boney and the Euge. His sound might be the most authentic of any of the saxophonists on the list.
How can I not mention Grover Washington Jr. in this discussion? Mister Magic is iconic, of course. He basically invented the genre with that track. Nothing else he did has ever really caught my attention, though.
It may not be high-brow, but I think this collection is just fun listening.
A lawyer who likes to write music commentary.