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J. M. Pease "peasej36" (Ashford, Kent. England)
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Four Classic Albums Plus (The Jazz Skyline / Milt Jackson Quartet / Telefunken Blues / Plenty Plenty Soul)
Four Classic Albums Plus (The Jazz Skyline / Milt Jackson Quartet / Telefunken Blues / Plenty Plenty Soul)
Price: 5.99

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jackson's Classic Jazz, 7 Jun 2009
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I have long been of the opinion that the 1950s were the greatest decade in jazz. This superb Avid release merely confirms my feelings as I listened to the four albums, none of which I had heard before.
The first CD kicks off with the album "The Jazz Skyline" recorded in Jan. 1956 and featuring Jackson with Lucky Thompson (ts) Hank Jones (pno) Wendell Marshall (b) and Kenny Clarke (dms). Thompson has been badly neglected on CD but this release goes some way to putting matters right (see also the recent John Lewis CD on Avid). This is a thoroughly enjoyable session. I particularly liked "Angel Face" and "What's New". The last named is a feature for Thompson. I thought Stan Getz had recorded the definitive version a few years previous but may have to review my assessment.
Next up is the album "Milt Jackson Quartet" recorded in May 1955. Basically, this is the MJQ with Horace Silver replacing Lewis. This change plus the choice of material makes any comparison pointless. A straight forward swinging affair.
This disc is rounded off with three tracks from the July 1948 session featuring Theloniuos Monk with Jackson assisted by John Simmons (b) and Shadow Wilson (dms) playing three classic Monk originals.
The second CD opens with the album "Telefunken Blues" on which Kenny Clarke is the nominal leader. It features two sessions of 4 tracks each.
The first was recorded in Hollywood in Nov. 1954 with Jackson, Frank Morgan (as) Walter Benton (ts)Gerald Wiggins (pno) and Percy heath (b) This is a very nice session but the second one is even better. This was laid down in New York in Feb 1955 and features Jackson on piano with Henry Coker (tmb) Frank Wess (ts & flute)Charlie Fowlkes (bari) Eddie Jones (d)and Kenny Clarke (dms).All four tracks were written and arranged by Ernie Wilkins and are quite superb with the sextet sounding like a much bigger group
Last, bur not least, comes the album "Plenty, Plenty Soul". This ia an absolute cracker and, once again, comes from two sessions. First up are three tracks recorded on the 7th Jan 1957 by a nine piece band featuring the likes of Ronnie Peters (as) Frank Foster (ts) Sahib Shahab (bari) Joe Newman (tpt)Jimmy Cleveland (tmb) Hotace Silver (pno) Percy Heath (b) Art Blakey (dms) plus, of course Milt Jackson (vibs). Finally, four tracks recorded two days earlier where Jackson is joined by Lucky Thompson (ts)Oscar Pettiford (b) Connie Kay (dms) plus Newman and Silver. Each session includes one number written and arranged by a certain Qincy Jones. Recording quality is first class and, I need hardly add, the issue is highly recommended.


Four Classic Albums Plus (The Modern Jazz Sextet / No Sun In Venice / Grand Encounter / At The Opera House / The Modern Jazz Society Presents A Concert Of Contemporary Music)
Four Classic Albums Plus (The Modern Jazz Sextet / No Sun In Venice / Grand Encounter / At The Opera House / The Modern Jazz Society Presents A Concert Of Contemporary Music)
Price: 6.28

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long awaited Lewis., 10 May 2009
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Yet another absolute gem from the Avid Jazz label containing one set that has been missing from the catalogues far too long.
CD 1 kicks off with the 5 tracks from "The Modern Jazz Sextet" a 1956 session featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt with John Lewis, Percy Heath Skeeter Best (gtr) and Charlie Persip (dms). This is music of the highest quality with everyone at the top of their game. Rounding off the frist CD is the complete "No Sun In Venice" sessions from the Modern Jazz Quartet. I had not heard this in its entirety before and thoroughly enjoyed the cleverly composed and arranged score.
CD 2 starts with all 6 tracks from the album "Grand Encounter 2 Degrees East- 3 Degrees West" featuring Lewis, Bill Perkins, Percy Heath, Jim Hall and Chico Hamilton. This is a superb example of jazz with "none of the tempos above a fast walk". This must be the finest session ever put on record by Perkins but, once again, everyone is on top form. Next up are three tracks from the MJQ being half of the album "The MJQ and the Oscar Peterson Trio at the Opera House". This is a short set but more of an out and out jazz one than usual. Recording quality not so good as the other tracks but still worthwhile.
Last, but no no means least, we have, at long last, the re-issue of "The Modern Jazz Society" sub-titled "A concert of contemporary music". The session was supervised by Lewis who does not play. All five pieces were composed by Lewis and the soloists include Stan Getz, J.J. Johnson, Lucky Thompson, Tony Scott and Aaron Sachs. This was labelled third stream when it first appeared but is rightly considered a classic that has been un-available for far too long. The solo by Getz on "The Queen's Fancy" is worth the price alone. Apart from the Opera House tracks the recording quality is first class.
Now for a little moan. The "Society" tracks have become mis-labelled on the sleeve notes and should read as follows:-
11 = Little David's Fugue
12 = Django
13 = The Queen's Fancy (as listed)
14 = Midsommer
15 = Sun Dance (as listed)
Tony Scott is listed as Anthony Sciacca on these tracks. The sleeve note says changed his name to Tony Scott after this session but I think this is wrong. He reverted to his real name to avoid contractual problems. I have records by him as Scott pre-dating this session.
Needless to say, this issue is thoroughly recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 17, 2011 1:18 PM BST


Straight No Chaser
Straight No Chaser
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 13.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More marvellous Monk, 19 April 2009
This review is from: Straight No Chaser (Audio CD)
The extended soundtrack from the film of the same name which is not yet available on DVD in UK and European format. There is some talking but the music is marvellous and I have reason to believe that certain tracks have not appeared elsewhere. Good sound and exhaustive liner notes. A "must have" for Monk fans at the bargain price.


Jazz Giants '58
Jazz Giants '58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Giants, 29 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Jazz Giants '58 (Audio CD)
Completely endorse the first review. Can't understand why this superb record was not in my collection many years ago. Because of my age I may be biased but to me the 1950s were the true golden age of jazz. Every man was in top form and the whole session swings like mad - try keeping you foot still when listening. Louis Bellson again shows that, at this time, he was a more satisfying drummer than Buddy Rich. If you doubt my word listen to the various Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong dates.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2010 8:57 AM BST


Four Classic Albums Plus (Mr Music / Al Cohn Quintet Featuring Bob Brookmeyer / Al & Zoot / Bob Brookmeyer Featuring Al Cohn)
Four Classic Albums Plus (Mr Music / Al Cohn Quintet Featuring Bob Brookmeyer / Al & Zoot / Bob Brookmeyer Featuring Al Cohn)
Price: 4.78

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swinging Cohn, 16 Mar 2009
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At the risk of sounding a bore, I must report that this is yet another superb issue from those wonderful people at Avid. You get what is says on the label namely four LP releases plus a couple of tracks from an album called "Winners Circle". Full recording information is given but I must draw your attention to the fact that pianist Mose Allison appears on two albums and the equally marvellous John Williams (he of Stan Getz and Zoot Sims fame) on one. Drummer Nick Stabulas appears on the two Allison tracks and is quite outstanding. It almost goes without saying that the main soloists Cohn, Sims and Brookmeyer swing like the clappers and are never less than interesting. The four main albums were recorded from 1954 to 1957. The two other tracks do not show a date but it is safe to assume it is from the same period. These extra tracks feature Cohn on baritone sax and the second of them has a memorable tenor solo from one John Coltrane. Highly recommended.


The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall
The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall
Price: 6.30

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monk big band, 5 Jan 2009
The original LP issue carried 6 tracks. The first CD issue carried 7 and now this re-issue gives 10. The first 7 are by a big band the stand out tracks being both versions of "Little Rootie Tootie". On these Hal Overton has scored the original Monk trio recording, with Art Blakey, for the full band ensemble passages. The effect is quite amazing. The final three tracks are from the same concert and feature Monk with Charlie Rouse, Sam Jones and Art Taylor. These really boot along.
I remember this concert getting rave reviews when the LP was issued. Highly recommended.


Four Classic Albums: Thelonious Monk Plays The Music Of Duke Ellington / Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins / Brilliant Corners / Thelonious Monk
Four Classic Albums: Thelonious Monk Plays The Music Of Duke Ellington / Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins / Brilliant Corners / Thelonious Monk
Price: 5.78

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly Monk, 2 Jan 2009
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Another fantastic issue from those wonderful people at Avid. You get what it says on the label namely four original 12' albums on two CDs. I already own Monk plays Ellington and was familiar with most of the trio tracks but "Brilliant Corners" and the Rollins tracks were new to me. The first named is quite extraordinary and demands repeated playing. I recently read that the title track was so complicated that they had to splice together the two best efforts out of 20+ attempts. The Rollins tracks are first rate but there exist other cuts from the same session.
Superb value for money and a "must have" issue.


Original Album Classics : Straight, No Chaser / Underground / Criss-Cross / Monk's Dream / Solo Monk
Original Album Classics : Straight, No Chaser / Underground / Criss-Cross / Monk's Dream / Solo Monk
Price: 13.38

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monk and then some, 2 Jan 2009
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Can't add much to the excellent reviews already posted but hope the following comments will be of interest. This box set is the new slim type that will easily get through your letterbox. Each CD is in a mini version of the 12' LP cover so it should be pointed out that this package contains 22 tracks not on the original LPs. No recording dates are given but I think the following are correct:-
"Monks Dream" and "Solo Monk" = 31st Oct 1962 to 6th Nov 1962.
"Criss Cross" = 6th Nov 1962 to 29th Mar 1963.
"Straight No Chaser" = 14th Nov 1966 to 11th Jan 1967
"Underground" = 14th Dec 1967 to 14th Feb 1968.
I was fortunate enough to see Monk in concert in the early 1960s in London sharing the bill with a particularly good version of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. As a result I bought the first CD versions of "Monks Dream" and "Criss Cross". These new cuts contain tracks I had not heard before including "Coming On The Hudson", a Monk original I have been longing to own.
Superb value for money and, together with the recent Avid package, an essential purchase.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 28, 2011 5:59 PM BST


Kenton in Hi-Fi/Cuban Fire
Kenton in Hi-Fi/Cuban Fire
Price: 3.80

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but......., 10 Dec 2008
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On the basis of cost this is good value but, as has been pointed out already, the title is somewhat misleading. There are two tracks missing from the "Hi Fi" collection namely "Interlude" and the alternate take of "Minor Riff". It appears to have captured all the original tracks from "Cuban Fire" but I must agree that the sound quality is inferior to the two originals. This issue might prove of value to someone wanting to sample Kenton for the first time but serious devotees are advised to get the Capitol issues. Of these "Cuban Fire" now includes the "missing" 7th track plus 4 more tracks recorded in 1960. As to be expected, the Capitol issues give full recording details, this Hallmark one gives none.


Keeping Tempo: Classic British Modern Jazz
Keeping Tempo: Classic British Modern Jazz
Price: 3.44

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super sampler, 9 Aug 2008
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This 22 track collection covers the period from 1954 to 1960. It is rightly described as a sampler so, be warned, some tracks are faded out a little early. Plenty of good stuff from the likes of Victor Feldman,Don Rendell and Tubby Hayes. Great value for money and guaranteed to make you want to investigate some of the CDs represented.


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