Three of the 15 songs on this Luther Vandross compilation qualify as hidden. Out of those three, one was released on the soundtrack to Hero (1992), another was pulled from the soundtrack to Money Train (1995), and the third track was a bonus cut on the Japanese edition of Luther Vandross (2001). They are not quite gems, but dedicated fans should be happy to have them in one spot. Out of the remaining dozen tracks, two come from gold-selling releases and ten were issued on albums that went platinum and double platinum. So, those are not exactly hidden or "seldom heard," as a press release was crazy enough to claim. Hidden Gems is more like the missing fifth disc from the Love, Luther box set released in 2007. Between the releases, only two songs overlap, and this adds depth with not much filler, though it could have been more generous with '80s cuts and not so reliant upon relatively tepid '90s material. The liner notes, written by Vandross' longtime associate Fonzi Thornton, are a great touch. ~ Andy Kellman
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- A Smooth Jazz Tribute to Luther Vandross (Various Artists)