With five studio albums to its credit—one issued after vocalist/two-string bassist Mark Sandman's fatal onstage heart attack in 1999—this supremely cool, bass/drums/sax trio clearly reac

With five studio albums to its credit—one issued after vocalist/two-string bassist Mark Sandman's fatal onstage heart attack in 1999—this supremely cool, bass/drums/sax trio clearly reached its creative peak while issuing three bluesy, soulful, and sometimes funny sets for Ryko. Sure, it would be nice to instead have a comprehensive best-of chipping in such tracks from its two DreamWorks albums as "Early to Bed," "Like Swimming," and "The Night," but all the really key stuff is here—most importantly, five cuts from the band's timeless masterpiece, Cure for Pain. Perhaps most notable is the unearthing of three previously unreleased tracks, including "Sexy Christmas Baby Mine," a delight that has this writer smiling and shaking his head: Four years since his death, Sandman is still so cool, and reminding us of that from the grave. What a grand loss.—WO