[Dixielandjazz] Some Boxed Jazz CD Sets To Consider.
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Dec 19 06:58:11 PST 2004
December 19, 2004 - NY Times
Inside the Box - Last minutes Christmas Gifts.
Here, the jazz critics of The New York Times review notable sets of three
CD's or more. Snipped to Jazz Sets only, which list mates may enjoy. Perhaps
great gifts to your "jazz oblivious" friends also?
'THE COMPLETE NORMAN GRANZ JAM SESSIONS'
These are not the "Jazz at the Philharmonic" live recordings that made the
producer Norman Granz's name around the world in the 1940's; those were
collected on another boxed set, a few years back. Here Granz, obsessed by
the artistic and commercial promise of jam sessions, convened all-star bands
and fistfuls of famous frontline players, including Charlie Parker, Ben
Webster, Sweets Edison, Stan Getz, Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie. Many
had already sealed their reputations; others, like Illinois Jacquet and Flip
Phillips, greatly increased theirs by doing a version of bravura acting in
Granz's format, revealing the soul of mankind in four choruses of a blues or
a standard. Granz drafted great rhythm sections, too, to cushion all the
provocative and competitive soloing; Disc 2 includes the seasoned team of
Count Basie and the rhythm guitarist Freddie Green, and Disc 3 the pianist
Oscar Peterson with the bassist Ray Brown. Beautifully packaged - Granz
himself pioneered lavish record packaging - this music, casual, gregarious,
deeply swinging, helped define and consolidate serious jazz for a
generation. Verve. 5 CD's. $60. REVIEWED BY BEN RATLIFF
'BOB BROOKMEYER: MOSAIC SELECT 9'
Early on, the valve trombonist and pianist Bob Brookmeyer found a way toward
originality in jazz that wasn't obsessed with futurism or disjunctive
sounds. Unusual for his generation, he drew sustenance from early jazz and
swing-era players and American folk songs, and - before becoming a star
arranger and player in Gerry Mulligan's big band - created a series of
quiet, piquant and unprecious little small-group records. This set reissues
late-50's recordings, including the marvelous "Traditionalism Revisited,"
"Kansas City Revisited" and "Stretching Out." 3 CD's. $39. Available only
from Mosaic at http://www.mosaicrecords.com REVIEWED BY BEN RATLIFF
'DOCTORS, PROFESSORS, KINGS & QUEENS: THE BIG OL' BOX OF NEW ORLEANS'
Past and present are inextricable in New Orleans, where musical styles from
the 1920's to the 21st century are all in the air. Jazz, blues, funk, rhythm
and blues and local phenomena like carnival music, brass bands and (imported
from the bayous) zydeco are all on this set, which has plenty of songs in
praise of the city itself. Current New Orleans musicians and club favorites
mingle with pioneers (Louis Armstrong, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino,
Clifton Chenier, the Meters) on an unacademic, noncategorized album that
suits the city's time-warped party spirit. Shout Factory. 4 CD's. 59.98.
'DEXTER GORDON: THE COMPLETE PRESTIGE RECORDINGS'
>From a 1950 recording at the Hula Hut in Los Angeles, with an audience
lustily shouting him on, through a pair of lovely 1969 records with a rhythm
section of Barry Harris, Buster Williams and Tootie Heath, and scattered
live and studio dates in the early 70's, this set collects the tenor
saxophonist Dexter Gordon in one casual situation after another. Gordon was
earthy, natural class personified: the raw-toned, floppy, pleasantly laggard
playing enlivens all this blues and bop. Fantasy. 11 CD's. $140. REVIEWED BY
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