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on 19 October 2012
This double cd from Avid is worth getting for the second cd alone..

The first cd has another reissue of Gene's sextet from 53, and it's all great stuff but has been out for awhile now.

The second cd is what the Krupa fan will like, but this cd has it's flaws too.

Hey here's Gene Krupa was nice lp and the sound quality is the best around..that can be said all the tracks on this cd.
Im not convinced this is from the master tracks, but tho a bit over recorded and toppy it is quite nice to hear full frequency of Gene's drums.

The Collates 10inch is also very nice audio wise, these always sound a bit muffled, but here they sound sharp..but the takes of St. Louis Blues and Perdido are not the "best" second takes of these tunes exist and are better.

The Japan 1952 ep plays very well, oh it's nice to hear these claasics with a fidelity that is much better than any other available issue of them, albeit this is from the ep and so you only get three of tracks recorded by the trio.

Yes this is a good deal, but most will only want the second cd and that too could be better,
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on 18 November 2013
Among the legions of jazz drummers Gene Krupa still enjoys enduring fame. Originally mentored by the far more restrained Dave Tough, Krupa changed horses and embraced the far more exhibitionist style of Baby Dodds, who became a prominent influence. Introducing both the bass drum and tom toms Krupa was together with Zutty Singleton to pioneer the long distance drum break ("Sing,Sing,Sing"). His firework displays apart Krupa was not to have the enduring influence of such craftsmen as Jo Jones and Kenny Clarke. Certain aficionados consider that the implied beat of Dave Tough suited the requirements of the Benny Goodman quartet better than the more stated beat of Gene Krupa

Avid's low cost tribute to Gene Krupa eschews any big band outings and is confined to small group albums recorded in the 1950s. On disc one Krupa leads three sextets which includes such highly regarded musicians as Teddy Wilson (piano), Charlie Shavers (trumpet), Willie Smith, Ben Webster and Eddie Davis (reeds), Bill Harris (trombone) and Ray Brown, Israel Crosby (bass) There is some fine solo work by the horns and elegant contributions from Teddy Wilson. Krupa takes a number of breaks and does not spare the kit. Disc two starts with a quartet giving prominence to the now barely remembered multi-instrumentalist Eddie Shu (tenor, clarinet, trumpet). The final selections feature a trio including Charlie Ventura (tenor) and Teddy Napoleon (piano). Disc two also boasts some fine musicianship and at times Krupa provides just the right rhythm backing but there are a number of noisy drum breaks which can tend to go on too long.

There are many good things on this two disc set including fine solo work by Teddy Wilson, Bill Harris and the underrated Eddie Shu but an abiding revelation is that Krupa was at his considerable best when acting as the driving force behind a big band and not when fronting a small group. A good cross section of Krupa's talent is provided by Retrospective's two disc set "Drummin' Man" (1927-1958) which includes the full 1938 Carnegie Hall version of "Sing,Sing,Sing", Krupa's first band recording session (1935) which includes the supposedly first bass solo on record performed by the neglected virtuoso Israel Crosby "Blues of Israel" and a number of offerings by the talented singer Anita O'Day


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The genesis of this reissue is somewhat complicated. The first CD comprises the contents of three 10" LPs, all by the Gene Krupa Sextet. Four numbers were recorded in April 1953, with Charlie Shavers, Willie Smith, Teddy Wilson, Steve Jordan & Israel Crosby. They were bundled with two of eight numbers recorded in September 1953, and issued on the second album; the rest were issued on the first LP. The line-up for the second date had altered somewhat; out had gone Smith, Jordan & Crosby, to be replaced by Bill Harris, Ben Webster, & Ray Brown. The third date, February 1954, was back to the original line-up, but for Ben Webster, whose place was taken by Eddie Davis. This LP was also issued as "The Driving Gene Krupa".

The second CD begins with "Hey ... Here's Gene Krupa" which was recorded in mid-1957 with Eddie Shu, Dave McKenna & Wendell Marshall, and released on Verve in 1959. "The Gene Krupa Trio Collates" with Charlie Ventura and Teddy Napoleon was a 10" Mercury album issued in 1953. Just to further complicate matters, the six tracks were later combined with the first two Sextet LPs and repackaged as "Drum Boogie" and "The Exciting Gene Krupa". The compilation concludes with the EP "Drum Boogie" which was recorded in Tokyo in April 1952.

Gene Krupa pioneered the extended drum solo, and always made his presence felt, not least by his deployment of the bass drum. As you'd expect, these recordings from the fifties offer exciting hard-driving jazz, particularly the Sextet albums, which feature lusty contributions from Bill Harris. They include also moments of lyrical beauty as on "Don't Take Your Love From Me" and "Imagination" both of which feature Ben Webster, with Charlie Shavers doing a fair impression of Harry James in the latter. It's a very well-planned compilation, with high-quality sound restoration.
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This latest 2 CD set will be of interest to Gene Krupa fans perhaps for CD 2 including as it does a sought after album and EP. The sound quality is good but as with album transfers they can only be as good as the disc in question and so not being from the master tape there are some minor sound issues here but I think you will still enjoy Gene on both CDs and no one will question the reasonable pricing of the set. The recordings date from 1952 to 1957. Look out for more jazz releases from avid...
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on 6 June 2016
I was so excited about hearing these Krupa recordings, I ordered the CD as soon as it was released. I mean, how great is it to have rare music so readily available again, and at such a low price. However...

Well, unless you're even more desperate than I was to hear these particular recordings, avoid this product. In fact, just avoid all these cheap jazz reissues, released by 'here today, gone tomorrow' companies, who pay virtually nothing to produce these CDs because of copyright expiration. These Krupa recordings are so old that anyone can issue them with no prior permission and keep the profit for themselves.

The mastering/remastering of these CDs is awful. I don't agree with those purists who insist that vinyl is better than CD - in cases like this I don't believe vinyl would make any difference - but the sound compression applied to these recordings makes them very unpleasant to listen to. Whatever your opinion of CD vs vinyl, it's not the CD format that creates this problem here, it's lousy record engineering by cynical companies, putting out cheap products. I believe they have no interest in making anything of quality, they're just mining the reissue market.

My advice to those wanting to hear Krupa in quality is to stick with the official CD releases, issued by Verve. They include the 'The Drum Battle', which features GK playing trio with the amazing Hank Jones (piano) and tenor saxophonist Willie Smith, at a 1952 Jazz at the Philharmonic show. For big band material, seek out the 'Gene Krupa Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements' or 'Krupa and Rich'.

My highest recommendation of all would be 'Big Noise From Winnetka: Gene Krupa Live at the London House', which captures one of his quartets live in concert (this is not to be confused with 'The Big Noise from Winnetka', which was a radio broadcast of a completely different performance).
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on 3 October 2013
What can I say about this Legend. Puts Ginger Baker to Shame. If it is your first adventure in to the world of Gene Krupa then this album is for you. Gene Krupa at his best.
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on 5 October 2013
A fantastic set with well known recordings
for many hours of listening pleasure
Very well priced and reasonable postage
well parcelled.
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on 7 December 2015
Many examples of Gene Krupa swinging but I would have liked more of his big band recordings.
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on 5 January 2016
The master of drumming and a very good example of his skills
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on 30 August 2014
Great music. Great musicians. Must have.
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