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There are tracks missing.
on 18 February 2013
I won't give too detailed a review because there are lots already, but I wanted to draw attention to something that (I don't think) anyone else has done. Sure, there's lots of great music here, at a very reasonable price. BUT, many albums have tracks missing, presumably to squeeze 2 onto each disc. With one exception, this isn't advertised in the liner notes (the exception is Porgy and Bess, which the liner notes rightly describe as "selections from"). There are definitely tracks missing from Bags Groove, 1958 Miles and Somethin' Else, and possibly other albums that I haven't noticed yet - and we're not talking alternate takes or bonus tracks normally included on CD releases here, but original tracks that were part of the original LP album (no "Oleo" on Bags' Groove, none of the live tracks from 1958 Miles). This is doubly frustrating because some of the 20 albums you're supposedly getting here DO have bonus tracks, which they could should have skipped in favour of the original LP content. It wouldn't have been too difficult to sacrifice a disc, or half a disc, to fit all the tracks they've skipped. As if to cap it off, the second set of Miles albums by the same producers, while not having any non-bonus tracks missing (that I can tell), fills up lots of CD space with peripheral bonus tracks under other leaders (Charlie Parker & Michel Legrand), as well as including the redundant "Blue Period" (all of the music from which is included in this set, as it was an early 10" LP that was later reissued on various 12" discs) as well as most of 1958 Miles for a second time (again with the live tracks missing) - pointless duplication, especially when there are missing tracks!
The total amount missing from this boxed set is quite small (probably less than half an hour of music), and there's nothing absolutely essential that's missed, but all the same it's misleading to claim that there are 20 full albums here when there are so many omissions. It's still probably the cheapest way to get this music but one can't help but feel cheated and mis-sold, which is frustrating because normally Real Gone Jazz are pretty good about not doing this sort of thing.