The emphasis is on ballads for harmonica player Toots Thielemans' outing with the Shirley Horn Trio. Horn, in addition to contributing some tastefully supportive piano and occasional solos, takes a vocal on "Someone to Watch Over Me." Toots sounds quite relaxed performing 11 standards (only "Blues in the Closet" generates much heat) plus his original "For My Lady" with such comfortable backing.
Released to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Notorious B.I.G.'s death, Greatest Hits places the two "collaborate with a dead legend" albums -- 1999's Born Again and 2005's Duets: The Final Chapter -- on equal ground with Ready to Die and Life After Death, the two landmark albums Biggie released while he was on the planet. Anthologizing one of the most compelling figures in hip-hop history seems like a right thing to do. Basing such a release around four albums that are greatly divided between essential and inessential, however, amounts to something of a mess. Two obscurities are used where it would've made much more sense to select "Mo Money, Mo Problems" and "Going Back to Cali," two of the biggest hits not included on this disc, and it's really off-balance to include three tracks from Born Again when only one more is pulled directly from Ready to Die. Longtime fans need not go near this; the same goes for beginners, who should reach for Ready to Die.