Consisting of singers Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, and Annie Ross, this revered trio made jazz-vocal history in the late 1950s and early '60s by approaching its music in almost exactly the same way as an instrumentalist. Presenting songs arranged by Lambert and lyrics often written by Hendricks, the group stunned listeners with its inventive use of the human voice in a strictly jazz context. (Unlike many of their peers, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross stuck closely to straight-up, bop-influenced jazz, never venturing into pop territory.) In addition to their jaw-dropping vocal techniques, the ensemble also incorporated a playful sensibility into its act, as revealed on Ross's silly, swingin' "Twisted" and Hendricks's boisterous, bluesy "Gimme That Wine," both featured on this 15-track compilation. Although the group often interpreted standards performed by Count Basie's band, the last two tunes on this set find them taking on Duke Ellington's frenetic "Cottontail" and dreamy "Midnight Indigo." As a concise overview of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross's innovative output for Columbia Records, this disc can't be beat.