The years spanned by this seven-disc Warner Classics collection coincide with the peak years of Jean Sibelius' popularity. At that time, he was widely regarded in Western countries as the greatest living composer, though he had essentially stopped producing major works after the mid-1920s, when he wrote the Symphony No. 7 in C major, the incidental music to The Tempest, and Tapiola.
In 2002 the Transatlantic Radio label fortified their catalog with a 26-track anthology of historic sides by the Jean Goldkette Orchestra. Victor Recordings 1924-1928 neatly samples some of the group's best works by beginning in March 1924, a good nine months before Bix Beiderbecke first sat in, and ending in December 1928, more than a year after Bix had joined the ranks of Paul Whiteman's Orchestra, along with some of Goldkette's most capable players. During the mid-‘20s the Goldkette band played its best music in front of live audiences, using arrangements by Bill Challis. Studio recordings captured some of the magic in the form of sweet and hot dance music punctuated by period pop vocals. Rather than packing in a lot of alternate takes (which may be found on other equally fine collections), the folks at Transatlantic chose to lay out a sensible selection that accurately embodies what the Goldkette band was all about.
277 tracks 1928-50, 64bit mastering. Django Reinhardt recorded prolifically in many different group settings over 4 decades. It's difficult to know where to start or where to go once you've gotten started collecting a few of his recordings. The 20 cd Djangologie box set is the place to go once you've decided to take the plunge into Django's music. It covers all 4 decades chronologically, but rather than trying to comprehensively collect all of Django's recordings (including all of the ones where he is a sideman in dance bands etc) it largely concentrates on the Quintette and other small group recordings, which is what most people want to hear. The sound quality is very good and relatively consistent throughout the collection. There is a minimum of tape hiss, clicks and pops. The sound mastering hasn't overemphasized any portion of the audio spectrum and has instead gone for a balanced group sound. Highly recommended if you want to get serious about listening to Django without all of the confusion that comes from piecing together smaller complilations.
I have listened to portions of this disc hundreds of time on the drives to and from work. It's a marvelous audio-engineering feat, bringing to life the spirited and brilliant artistry of one of the greatest novelty pianists of all time. Dead in 1934 at the age of 29, Raie da Costa's recordings were preserved only on disc pressings, but the audio engineers have eliminated the surface noise as if there never had been any; as if death and 80+ years have not removed us from this remarkably able and engaging performer. Long live Raie!!! Raie da Costa was a fabulous pianist. What a pity she died so young.