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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something For Everyone
I bought this without quite knowing what was in it: ten discs of André Previn's jazz recordings, sure, but what does that mean exactly?

The answer is: an amazing bargain.

As you would expect at the super-budget price point, this box simply contains the discs in cardboard sleeves together with a tracklisting: no liner notes of any kind. The...
Published on 27 April 2012 by Sordel

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars GENRALLY GOOD BETTER WITH LESS CDS
Andre Previn is quite well represented with these recordings but the
inclusion of the Elmer Gantry soundtrack and the piano concerto in f
by Gershwin seems odd There is also a serious lack of track information
on each album Would have been better as a shorter set
Published 11 months ago by Mr. Aa James


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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something For Everyone, 27 April 2012
By 
Sordel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
I bought this without quite knowing what was in it: ten discs of André Previn's jazz recordings, sure, but what does that mean exactly?

The answer is: an amazing bargain.

As you would expect at the super-budget price point, this box simply contains the discs in cardboard sleeves together with a tracklisting: no liner notes of any kind. The overall running time is ten hours.

The albums reproduced (varying in date between about 1956 and 1960) vary notably in content, so here's a listing:

André Previn, Heart & Soul (trad jazz piano, largely unaccompanied)
André Previn & His Pals, Pal Joey
Andre Previn & His Pals, Gigi
André Previn Plays Songs By Vernon Duke
André Previn Plays Songs By Jerome Kern
André Previn's Trio Jazz, King Size!
André Previn, West Side Story
André Previn's Trio, Like Previn!
André Previn, Elmer Gantry Original Soundtrack
André Previn Plays Songs By Harold Arlen
André Kostelanetz & His Orchestra with André Previn, Gershwin: Concerto in F
André Previn with David Rose & His Orchestra, Secret Songs For Young Lovers
André Previn with David Rose & His Orchestra, Like Blue
Shelly Manne, My Fair Lady
André Previn & Russ Freeman, Double Play
André Previn & Dinah Shore, Dinah Sings André Plays

Previn, of course, plays the jazz piano beautifully (both solo and in a trio context) with a fluid, weightless style and extraordinary invention: the music is never allowed to ramble, and he keeps the themes close at hand. This is especially true of the "Plays Songs of" series, where mercurial solo performances put Previn in the first rank of jazz pianists.

The albums with a trio featuring Shelly Manne on drums focus on individual Broadway shows and expand the sonic template somewhat, but there is even greater depth to be found in Like Previn! and King Size!, where the formula of straight standard performances gives way to something more exploratory.

The Dinah Shore album is very much of its time but it's difficult to argue with her beautifully tender performance of "My Funny Valentine"; either way, it will be more Shore's singing that makes or breaks this album for you than Previn's unobtrusive work at the piano.

The two albums with David Rose (from 1959 and 1960) are, for me, blighted by their orchestral arrangements, which are very sugary indeed with massed strings drenched in reverb. That's probably a disc worth leaving in the box unless you have an occasional hankering for some really kitsch easy listening.

Some of the oddities here are, however, gems: the Oscar-nominated orchestral soundtrack from Elmer Gantry (1960), for example, is the sort of thing that would fully justify the price of the entire set on its own. The Gershwin concerto is also a great bonus: this recording has been overshadowed by Previn's recordings of this work with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Orchestra, yet it still very enjoyable.

It's also worth a special mention for Double Play, a 1957 album themed around baseball that was (according to Wikipedia) originally advertised as the first time that two pianists had played modern jazz together.

This is a set that will reward exploration and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is even slightly curious about what the great classical pianist & conductor achieved in the jazz world.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value in spite of the padding, 27 July 2012
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
This is amazing value for money but there is a fair amount of padding which will be of interest to some but hardly constitutes enjoyable listening. Luckily there is a great deal of superb music to compensate for these lapses of taste and I have been surprised at how accomplished a player and musician Mr Previn was (and probably still is I have no doubt).

I have to say that it appears that no expense has been incurred in the preparations of the CD's for pressing. The levels are all over the place and I would defy anyone to play more than two discs without having to adjust the playback volume quite a lot. This is unacceptable and it seems that the tracks have been issued exactly as they came off whichever medium carried the original. I would defy anyone to listen to the Rose collaborations and the Manne collaborations concurrently : the difference in volume is immense despite the fact that Mr Rose was driving a full orchestra, the volume is feeble in the extreme. I know this is bargain basement territory but such sloppy preparation is unacceptable. This is where the missing star went. As one would expect the sound quality varies from excellent to listenable but we must remember that these recordings stretch back a very long way.

Question - Where is the excellent McNair disc?

Despite my reservations I would recommend this disc to anyone who enjoys jazz or the work of Mr Previn
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One that's missing., 24 May 2012
By 
Dr. I. Burgess (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
I'd forgotten just how good a jazz painist Andre Previn was. I can recall buying LPs by this guy. Given the albums recorded here I'm puzzled as to why the excellent Doris Day/Andre Previn album was omitted. That has to be one of Day's best albums - 'Close Your Eyes' has to be one of the most sensuous love songs writtten as performed by this duo. Ten CDs for less than £8 is an absolute bargain even without the Doris Day album. Readers who haven't got that one should buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better - Get the original artwork from Amazon, 1 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
Superb selection of music. Even better, if you are putting this all into iTunes you can find the lovely original artwork for each of these albums on Amazon - Double Play is especially worthwhile - and organise them accordingly. Only Rhapsody in Blue is missing and Previn's version is well worth getting as a download to complete your collection.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Talent!, 10 Nov. 2012
This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
Many think of André Previn as a classical pianist and conductor but his more flamboyant youth was filled with the excitement of being one of America's top jazz pianists. It's only because his work in other fields is world class that it appears to overshadow his achievements in the jazz world. This would be a misperception. Clearly his technique is excellent but it is his grasp of counterpoint, thematic development and the sheer exuberance of his playing that mark Previn as a world class jazz pianist. If you were unaware of his prowess in jazz piano then educate yourself with this thorough compilation. You will not be disappointed. It's a heck of a lot of fun too especially the trio work! Enjoy...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andre Previn and Friends., 14 July 2012
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
I bought several of the items included in the ten CD's set
several decades ago on 12inch vynyl records. The 10 CD set has proved nothing has been lost from the original recordings specially that of 'My Fair Lady'.
I would recomend the 10 CD set to any true jazz lover!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Previn Jazz, 7 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
Until I saw this set of CDs I did not realise how much jazz Andre Previn has recorded. I was delighted with the music and the transfers. Well worth buying at the very low price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andre Previn - Jazz Recordings, 6 Jan. 2013
By 
W. Baker (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
Containing 10 CD albums, this collection is outstanding value, all showing Andre Previn's skill as a jazz piano stylist. The box set ncludes his early recordings with small jazz combo's, orchestras led by the likes of Andre Kostelanetz and David Rose, his original film soundtrack for the film Elmer Gantry and a delightful album in collaboration with Dinah Shore. I also particulary like his jazz interpretations of the scores of My Fair Lady, Pal Joey and Gigi. I have had some of these albums on LP for many years, of which the Like Blue album is a particular favourite, and I had almost given up hope of them ever being released on CD. This box set is a real find and one I would recommend to anyone wishing to hear a master piano stylist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could jazz piano sound any better, 28 April 2013
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J. Carvalho (Porto, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
Andre Previn is just a marvelous pianist. All the 10 records included in this collection sound perfect. What a great bargain deal.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value, 4 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Jazz Recordings [CD10] (Audio CD)
These ten CDs provide a wide-ranging overview of Andre Previn's jazz recordings and represent great value for money.They demonstrate just what a wonderful jazz pianist he was and, with all his other attributes covering almost the entire musical spectrum, he is certainly one of my heroes in this field.
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