This limited-edition three-CD set will be hard to acquire but it is a gem. Tenor saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Jimmy Raney had very complementary cool-toned but hard-swinging styles. Their gig at Storyville in Boston resulted in some classic music that, along with five studio sessions, is included in this box. The supporting cast includes pianists Al Haig, Horace Silver, Duke Jordan, and Hall Overton; the music was originally recorded for Roost, Clef, Norgran, and Prestige. This essential set is filled with exciting performances from Stan Getz when he was first becoming a highly influential force in jazz.
Gerry Mulligan was certainly busy in December 1957. During a two-week period, the baritonist recorded a reunion album with trumpeter Chet Baker, documented a set of his songs with an octet that featured five top saxophonists, recorded a very obscure set with a sextet that included four strings, and cut most of an album in which his quartet teamed up with singer Annie Ross. This limited-edition three-CD set contains all of the music plus alternate takes and the last part of the Ross album, which was recorded nine months later with trumpeter Art Farmer in Baker's spot. The reunion with Baker, one of only two times when Mulligan and the trumpeter got back together (the other was a 1970s concert), has some of the old magic of the famous 1951-1952 pianoless quartet.
Since he released the completely solo For Alto in 1968, the accepted image of Anthony Braxton has been that he is more a theoretician and art music composer than a jazz musician. Therefore, it might seem strange that Mosaic Records is giving his Complete Arista Recordings one of their fabled box set treatments. But Braxton is both – and much more. This set – as well as the original Arista recordings – were produced by Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic/Blue Note label head. The sheer scope of these recordings is staggering. What we get in this amazingly detailed collection is the weightiest argument yet for Braxton's range and depth of field as a musical thinker and his role as a pillar of modern jazz.
This seven-CD limited-edition box set from Mosaic is another mind-boggling collection. The masterful trombonist J.J. Johnson recorded steadily for Columbia during the 1956-61 period, heading groups that ranged from quartets to sextets that performed solid hard bop. Johnson is joined on various selections by tenors Bobby Jaspar (doubling on flute) and Clifford Jordan; cornetist Nat Adderley; the young trumpeter Freddie Hubbard; pianists Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Cedar Walton, and Victor Feldman; bassists Percy Heath, Wilbur Little, Paul Chambers, Spanky DeBrest, Arthur Harper, and Sam Jones; and drummers Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Albert "Tootie" Heath, and Louis Hayes.
A soul survivor in every sense of the term, this alto saxophonist is one of the few remaining jazz artists who made a major impact on the jazz community via an extensive run with producer Alfred Lion and the Blue Note label (Horace Silver being another Blue Note legend that comes to mind). From his first recordings for the label with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, it was clear that Lou Donaldson put melody and sound at a premium, coming up with an amalgam that combined the creamy smoothness of Johnny Hodges with the quicksilver bop inflections of Charlie Parker.
The triple-disc Mosaic Select Series has been, in some ways, more rewarding than even its limited-edition box set collections. While these are numbered and limited as well, they tend to shine light either on artists who have never gotten their due, or those who, while certainly respected, have an entire pocket of their careers largely ignored for one reason or another. Some of the titles in this series make that quite clear: John Patton, Curtis Amy, Charles Tolliver, and long unreleased recordings by Andrew Hill, to name a few. Bobby Hutcherson is an excellent example. While his 1960s recordings are well known, most of his mid-'70s recordings have never been available on CDs.
Woody Herman was dedicated to keeping his big band going and was focused more on music that satisfied him than focusing on making hits. Most of the selections in this three-CD set came from an overlooked period in the clarinetist's career, his early 1960s tenure on the Phillips label. At this point, Herman had recently welcomed new arrivals like trumpeter Bill Chase, tenor saxophonist Sal Nistico, and trombonist Phil Wilson, while still talented veterans like pianist Nat Pierce, tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins, and drummer Jake Hanna.
Terrific, limited edition box set collecting all the recordings made by this one of a like group of superstar musicians including: Art Farmer, Phil Woods, Zoot Sims, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Art Blakey, and Hank Jones. The set includes 5 CDs covering all of his 1959-60 studio and 1961 live Mercury sessions, as well as an earlier set from 1956 for ABC-Paramount and a 1961 date for Impulse. Also includes an exhaustive essay by Brian Priestley and a complete discography, as well as many rare photographs by Chuck Stewart.
Features material from The Connection, Shades Of Redd, and an Unissued Session! Available in a box set as either three LPs or two CDs, this limited-edition release has all of the music recorded at pianist Freddie Redd's three Blue Note sessions. In addition to the selections originally included on the LPs Music From the Connection and Shades of Redd, there is a completely unissued date that adds to the fairly slim Freddie Redd discography. Altoist Jackie McLean (who is on all three sets) and tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks (a key soloist on two) co-star with the pianist; trumpeter Benny Bailey is also heard from the later date. The music is comprised mostly of Redd's originals (including seven songs written for the stage play The Connection) and fits into the style of the mainstream hard bop of the day, although with a few personal touches. Straight-ahead fans and Blue Note collectors can consider this set to be essential.
This excellent 3-CD set collects two 10" albums by Shank and 4 12" albums co-led by Shank and Cooper, all for the Pacific Jazz/World Pacific labels between 1954-58. The West Coast cool school was at its height at this time, and both Bud Shank and Bob Cooper were in the thick of it. The first disc gets off to a rousing start with the marvelously swinging VALVE IN HEAD from 1954, with Bud playing fluid alto sax. He's joined by three valve trombone players (Bob Enevoldsen, Stu Williamson, and the ringer Maynard Ferguson) on this tune and for the first half of the disc, an interesting concept. The second half finds him with Coop at Cal Tech in 1959. Count Basie's THE KING gets a rousing airing, and there's a nicely done ballad medley.