The Late Great Johnny Ace
Label: Legacy Recordings
It would be impossible to summarize Paul Simon's varied solo career in a brief compilation, and this retrospective wisely stretches out with over 30 tracks. The surprise here is not that the early tunes ("Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard," "Late In The Evening," etc.) play so well next to the immaculate fusion-inspired stuff from Rhythm of the Saints and Graceland; it's the agreeable light that's shed on other material -- especially from his middle years and the Capeman disaster. A nearly perfect set of Simon essentials.