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Jones/Lewis Mosaic

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What extras are on it, how much does it usually run, is there anything on the set that's not come out on "mainstream" issue CD, and how's the book?

Just got the upside of my head smacked good by the first Vanguard album on a road trip this past weekend. Between Richard Davis, Mel, Thad's clusterisms. & Snooky Young....Good GOD was that stuff hittin'!

I got all the albums (not the vocal ones, though), but on older LPs.

Please discuss!

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I don't recall the very first Solid State album ever being on CD: Presenting Thad Jones / Mel Lewis and the Jazz Orchestra.

Edited by John L

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The book is - predictably - great. Lots of nice photos of the band in its early performances and details of how it came together, early rehearsals, involvement of Phil Ramone/Manny Albam etc.

As as been mentioned on the board before, the sound of the Mosaic (sand reverb) is a lot better than the LPs.

Edited by sidewinder

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Maybe Japanese/European issues differ, but I believe only 3 of the records have been recently reissued on CD in the US: The one (Live at the Village Vanguard), Central Park North, and Consummation. If Presenting... and Monday Night have been reissued I am not familiar with those. And the vocal albums with Joe Williams and Ruth Brown weren't on the box.

The version of The Second Race on Monday Night is my favorite, more intense than the earlier record.

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Meanwhile, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra continues, and it is fantastic. They have a new double CD, "Forever Lasting - Live in Tokyo," that is high on my list.

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We were video streaming live on NPR.org from the Vanguard tonight. The audio is still up:

http://www.npr.org/event/music/145987010/vanguard-jazz-orchestra-live-at-the-village-vanguard

  • "A-That's Freedom" (Hank Jones, arranged by Thad Jones)
  • "Extra Credit" (Jim McNeely)
  • "ABC Blues" (Bob Brookmeyer)
  • "Suite For Three" (Bob Brookmeyer)
  • "Skylark" (Hoagy Carmichael, arranged by Bob Brookmeyer)
  • "My Centennial" (Thad Jones)

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Personally, the Mosaic set is great, but I don't listen to it that much. The booklet is invaluable, tons of detail on how the band was formed, personnel, cool pictures. But if you were really wanting the set, I would say that the Vanguard record is the best of the lot and really captures the band in peak form playing the best of the charts. Just my humble opinion. The sound quality on the set is warm and detailed. Very LP like, without the original post-production flaws.

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Here's the discography, saved straight from the Mosaic website back in the day:

The Complete Solid State Recordings of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra

Discography

Note: All arrangements are by Thad Jones with the following exceptions: Bob Brookmeyer, Tom McIntosh and Garnett Brown arranged their compositions. Brown also arranged "Sophisticated Lady", and Brookmeyer arranged "Willow Weep For Me", "Willow Tree" and "St. Louis Blues". Joe Farrell arranged "Lover man".

Thanks to Bill Kirchner's diligent research of the original scores, we've been able to identify the exact reed doublings for each session. Also trumpeters and trombonists are listed in the order of the chair they played, although they were known to switch parts with some frequency.

Only U.S. issues are included in this discography. Rejected titles not included in the set are listed in italics.

_________________________________________________________________

(A) Thad Jones (flg), Danny Stiles, Bill Berry, Jimmy Nottingham, Richard Williams (tps), Bob Brookmeyer, Jack Rains, Tom McIntosh (tbs), Cliff Heather (b tb), Jerome Richardson (ss, as, fl, cl, b cl), Jerry Dodgion (as, fl, cl), Joe Farrell (ts, fl, cl), Eddie Daniels (ts, cl, b cl), Pepper Adams (bari), Hank Jones (p), Sam Herman (g), Richard Davis (b), Mel Lewis (d)

A & R Studios, NYC, May 4, 1966

ABC Blues (tk 4) SS-18003

Kids Are Pretty People (tk 11) previously unissued

The Waltz You Swang For Me rejected

________________________________________________________________

(B) same as (A)

A & R Studios, NYC, May 5, 1966

Don't Ever Leave Me (tk 12) SS-18003

Once Around (tk 8) SS-18003

________________________________________________________________

© same as (A)

A & R Studios, NYC, May 6, 1966

Three And One (tk 7) SS-18003

Balanced Scales = Justice (tk 4) SS-18003

Willow Weep For Me (tk 13) SS-18003

Mean What You Say (tk 6) SS-18003, BNLA 392-2

The Waltz You Swang For Me rejected

___________________________________________________________________

(D) Thad Jones (flg), Snooky Young, Marvin Stamm, Jimmy Nottingham, Richard Williams (tps), Bob Brookmeyer, Tom McIntosh, Garnett Brown (tbs), Cliff Heather (b tb), Phil Woods (as, cl), Jerry Dodgion (as, fl), Joe Farrell (ts, fl, cl), Eddie Daniels (ts, cl), Pepper Adams (bari, cl), Roland Hanna (p), Sam Herman (g, shaker), Richard Davis (b), Mel Lewis (d)

A & R Studios, NYC, January 24, 1967

Sophisticated Lady (tk 6) 45-SD-2506

Willow Tree (tk 3) unissued

Hawaii (tk 11) 45-SD-2506

_________________________________________________________________

(E) Thad Jones (cor), Snooky Young, Bill Berry, Jimmy Nottingham, Richard Williams, Marvin Stamm (tps), Bob Brookmeyer, Tom McIntosh, Garnett Brown (tbs), Cliff Heather (b tb), Jerome Richardson (ss, as, fl, cl), Jerry Dodgion (as, fl), Joe Farrell (ts, fl), Eddie Daniels (ts, cl), Pepper Adams (bari, cl), Roland Hanna (p), Sam Herman (g, shaker), Richard Davis (b), Mel Lewis (d)

live at The Village Vanguard, April 28, 1967

The Little Pixie SS-18016, BNLA 392-2 *

A-That's Freedom SS-18016 *

The Second Race *

Willow Tree SS-18016 *

Quietude *

Bachafillen SS-18016 *

Lover Man previously unissued

Mornin' Reverend previously unissued

Samba Con Getchu SS-18016

Willow Tree (alt tk) previously unissued

Don't Git Sassy SS-18016 *

* Rough mixes of these performances were issued on a CD set on the LRC label. "Don't Git Sassy" was mistitled "Getting Sassy". "Bachafillen" (mistitled "Bacha Feelin'" on all previous issues) has an additional trombone chorus that was edited out of the actual master. "A-That's Freedom" has a full piano intro and extra trombone chorus that were edited out of the actual master. The master tapes of those edits, which were made by Thad and Mel, no longer exist and are not included here.

note: Solid State also recorded on April 27, 1967, but all music from that night was rejected. The exact recording order of these performances is not known

__________________________________________________________________

(F) Thad Jones (flg), Snooky Young, Danny Moore, Jimmy Nottingham, Richard Williams (tps), Garnett Brown, Jimmy Cleveland, Jimmy Knepper (tbs), Cliff Heather (b tb), Jerome Richardson (ss, as, fl), Jerry Dodgion (as, fl), Seldon Powell (ts, cl), Eddie Daniels (ts, cl), Pepper Adams (bari, cl), Roland Hanna (p), Richard Davis (b), Mel Lewis (d)

live at The Village Vanguard, October 17, 1968

Say It Softly SS-18048

Mornin' Reverend SS-18048, BNLA 392-2

Kids Are Pretty People SS-18048

The Second Race SS-18048

St. Louis Blues SS-18048

The Waltz You Swang For Me SS-18048

note: The exact recording order of these performances is not known. No outtakes exist from this session.

___________________________________________________________________

(-) same or similar to (G)

A & R Studios, NYC, May 28, 1969

Central Park North rejected

Tow Away Zone rejected

_________________________________________________________________

(G) Thad Jones (flg), Snooky Young, Danny Moore, Jimmy Nottingham, Richard Williams (tps), Eddie Bert, Benny Powell, Jimmy Knepper (tbs), Cliff Heather (b tb), Jerome Richardson (ss, as, fl), Jerry Dodgion (as, cl), Joe Farrell (ts, cl), Eddie Daniels (ts, cl), Joe Temperley (bari, b cl), Roland Hanna (p), Barry Galbraith, Sam Brown (g), Richard Davis (b, el b), Mel Lewis (d)

A & R Studios, NYC, June 17, 1969

Tow Away Zone rejected

Central Park North (tk 3) SS-18058, BNLA 392-2

Jive Samba (tk 5) 45-SD-2533, SS-18058, BNLA- 392-2

__________________________________________________________________

(H) same as (G)

A & R Studios, NYC, June 18, 1969

Quietude (tk 8) -1 SS-18058

Big Dipper (tk 5) -1 SS-18058, BNLA 392-2

Tow Away Zone (tk 3) 45-SD-2533, SS-18058

The Groove Merchant (tk 9) SS-18058, BNLA 392-2

-1 omit Sam Brown

___________________________________________________________________

(I) Thad Jones (flg), Snooky Young, Danny Moore, Al Porcino, Marvin Stamm (tps), Eddie Bert, Benny Powell, Jimmy Knepper (tbs), Cliff Heather (b tb), Jimmy Buffington, Earl Chapin, Dick Berg, Julius Watkins (Fr h), Howard Johnson (tuba), Jerome Richardson (ss, as, fl), Jerry Dodgion (as, cl, fl), Billy Harper (ts, fl), Eddie Daniels (ts, cl, fl), Richie Kamuca (bari, cl), Roland Hanna (p, el p), Richard Davis (b, el b), Mel Lewis (d)

A & R Studios, NYC, January 20, 1970

Consummation (tk 14) BST-84346

Dedication (tk 8) BST-84346

________________________________________________________________

(J) same as (I), except omit French horns and tuba:

A & R Studios, NYC, January 21, 1970

Tiptoe (tk 11) BST-84346, BNLA 392-2

It Only Happens Every Time (tk 7) BST-84346

_________________________________________________________________

(K) same as (J) except Joe Farrell replaces Richie Kamuca (bari)

A & R Studios, NYC, January 28, 1970

Fingers (tk 8) BST-84346

Ahunk Ahunk rejected

__________________________________________________________________

(L) same as (K) except Pepper Adams replaces Joe Farrell (bari) and add David Spinozza (g)

A & R Studios, NYC, May 25, 1970

Us (tk 18) BST-84346

A Child Is Born (tk 1) (omit g) BST-84346, BNLA 392-2

Ahunk Ahunk (tk 8) BST-84346

ALBUM INDEX

__________________________________________________________________

SS-18003 Presenting Thad Jones-Mel Lewis & The Jazz Orchestra

SS-18016 Live At The Village Vanguard

SS-18048 Monday Night!

SS-18058 Central Park North

BST-84346 Consummation

BNLA-392-2 Thad Jones/Mel Lewis

Original sessions produced by Sonny Lester

Assistant producer: Manny Albam

Produced for release by Michael Cuscuna

Executive producer: Charlie Lourie

Recording engineers: Phil Ramone (A-E), Malcolm Addey (F), Don Hahn (G-L)

Remixed from the original four-track (A-F) and eight-track (G-L) master tapes by Malcolm Addey in January, 1994

Design direction: Richard Mantel

Design production: InkWell, Inc.

Masters appear courtesy of Blue Note Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc., under license from CEMA Special Markets.

(p)1994 CEMA Special Markets. Product of CEMA Special Markets, a subsidiary of Capitol-EMI Music, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

©1994, Mosaic Records, Inc. All rights reserved.

producer's note:

This set collects the complete Solid State recordings of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra with the exception of two albums where the orchestra backs singers Ruth Brown and Joe Williams. These special projects have no bearing on the band's own music.

By the end of 1970, United Artists Records, which had purchased the Liberty and Blue Note labels, was phasing out Solid State and moving its continuing roster to Blue Note. So the orchestra's final studio album, which appeared on Blue Note, is included. The band also appeared on a European all-star package in December, 1969, some of which was issued on a Blue Note double album "Jazz Wave Ltd". Because the sound and performances left a lot to be desired and because this was an augmented all-star affair rather than just the orchestra itself, that music is not included here.

All of the music in this set has been remixed from the original four and eight-track master tapes to analog for our LP masters and digital for CD masters. We have therefore been able to eliminate a lot of the tape hiss, compression and artifical echo, bringing a cleaner, warmer, wider sound and more clarity to the music. There are however some flaws in the original multi-track masters that cannot be eliminated. For example, the first sessions (A-C) have an intermittent mid-range static in the left channel on some tunes. On the Village Vanguard sessions, there is an occasional quick crunch when an engineer moved a dirty fader during the recording.

Because of the length of many of these performances, it was not always possible to keep LP sides at the optimum 18 to 20 minutes per side. Therefore some are shorter and others are longer. It is because of this problem that the three tunes from sessions J & K appear in reverse recording order on the LP version of this set.

The main beef, for me, have always been the magnificien live recordings! (And thus I didn't quite get the picks that BN made when they still did do some CD reissues...)

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We were video streaming live on NPR.org from the Vanguard tonight. The audio is still up:

http://www.npr.org/event/music/145987010/vanguard-jazz-orchestra-live-at-the-village-vanguard

  • "A-That's Freedom" (Hank Jones, arranged by Thad Jones)
  • "Extra Credit" (Jim McNeely)
  • "ABC Blues" (Bob Brookmeyer)
  • "Suite For Three" (Bob Brookmeyer)
  • "Skylark" (Hoagy Carmichael, arranged by Bob Brookmeyer)
  • "My Centennial" (Thad Jones)

Thanks for the link, Michael, this sounds great as ever!

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What extras are on it, how much does it usually run, is there anything on the set that's not come out on "mainstream" issue CD, and how's the book?

Just got the upside of my head smacked good by the first Vanguard album on a road trip this past weekend. Between Richard Davis, Mel, Thad's clusterisms. & Snooky Young....Good GOD was that stuff hittin'!

I got all the albums (not the vocal ones, though), but on older LPs.

Please discuss!

When you say "the first Vanguard album", were you referring to the Solid State LP "Live at the Village Vanguard" or to Alan Grant's "Opening Night: Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band at the Village Vanguard February 7, 1966", which showed up on CD for about a week back in 2000? I do like that Opening Night CD quite a bit. I think I'll play it again when I get home. I just hope Alan Grant used good CD-Rs when he had these CDs pressed. :)

Kevin

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As far as your question about price, for some reason or another this, along with the Maynard Ferguson, is one of the most competitive Mosaics on Ebay. For a CD version you're looking at $175-250 easy, between $200-300+ for the LP.

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What extras are on it, how much does it usually run, is there anything on the set that's not come out on "mainstream" issue CD, and how's the book?

Just got the upside of my head smacked good by the first Vanguard album on a road trip this past weekend. Between Richard Davis, Mel, Thad's clusterisms. & Snooky Young....Good GOD was that stuff hittin'!

I got all the albums (not the vocal ones, though), but on older LPs.

Please discuss!

When you say "the first Vanguard album", were you referring to the Solid State LP "Live at the Village Vanguard" or to Alan Grant's "Opening Night: Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band at the Village Vanguard February 7, 1966", which showed up on CD for about a week back in 2000? I do like that Opening Night CD quite a bit. I think I'll play it again when I get home. I just hope Alan Grant used good CD-Rs when he had these CDs pressed. :)

Kevin

The CD version of the Solid State LP.

I meant to pick up that Alan Grant thing but never did. Gone already, eh?

So....if I have all the LPs + the LRC thing + the first Solid State Vanguard CD, the only thing I get new on the set is those two songs from the 45 (what's up with them, anyway) + the alternate take of "Mornin' Reverend", right?

But - the Mosaic set also cleans up/out the reverb & stuff from the original issues, right? How does that work on the studio stuff, is there still some wetness from the room sound or is it totally dry?

And yeah, this thing seems to be pricey. Hmmmm....

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I've a few of the LPs (UK issues) and don't have a problem with the sound. I must fin my copy of the Alan Grant disc as I don't recall it being a CDR.

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It looks like there is a copy on eBay for around $350 buy it now. The sound compared to other Mosaic sets is warmer and more liquid. Not too much on the high end, say compared to the Basie Roulette recordings, which I think is crisp and accurate.

To answer your question about reverb, it's much better than other commerical releases of this material.

One recording of the Jones/Lewis band with Joe Williams comes to mind, and the Mosaic set is superior in all aspects.

Sessions A, B, C, and E are my favorites from the discography.

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I don't mind the original reverb at all, actually. That's the way I grew up hearing this stuff, and it still sounds "right" (and "AM radio-ready") to me. But I'd not mind a re-imaging of it as long as it's not too dry. I hate uber-dry big band recordings. Some of those early Basie Pablos come to mind...

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I enjoy this set a great deal, thoguh like a few others, I haven't listened to it lately. The first studio album, sessions A,B,C Presenting the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra is my favorite. I had the LP originally. Now the set kind of turns your head around a bit because the tracks are issued in recorded order rather than LP order (the latter was and is better IMO, but perhaps that's only because I was used to the original). I believe Mosaic changed it's policy on that after some complaints, so that on current sets they issue the tracks in LP order. In any case, I consider Bob Brookmeyer ABC Blues a true big band jazz classic, indispensible.

Edited by John Tapscott

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Its been a while saince I listened to this set so need to put it on the play stack. Always enjoyed it. Booklet is excellent.

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Damn - I didn't even know about that Alan Grant CD ! It completely passed me by..

This particular Mosaic is one of my all time favourites - so much so that I have it on both CD and LP. I also have the first 3 LPs on Solid State and have to say that the Mosaic sonics wins hands down (although the reverb is quite bearable).

Edited by sidewinder

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There's an lp version on eBay currently at $112 with about 21 hours left. Not mine, but it is in Providence.

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Since the Alan Grant disc was mentioned... there's also this fine one from Basle, 1969, with some mean Joe Henderson, among many other delights:

d26647211ye.jpg

(Should be around via amazon... being from Europe, I found that most often priceminister.com works best for TCB discs, but they're usually not around cheaply.)

(should I absolutely go back to the store and buy Suite for Pops, btw?)

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I don't mind the original reverb at all, actually. That's the way I grew up hearing this stuff, and it still sounds "right" (and "AM radio-ready") to me. But I'd not mind a re-imaging of it as long as it's not too dry. I hate uber-dry big band recordings. Some of those early Basie Pablos come to mind...

Finally got a copy of the set, don't notice too much of a difference with the reverb on the first three albums, but those last two...yeah, this is so much better. I like the original's sond, but this is nice and clear, sounds like a big band instead of a "big band record", if you know what I mean.

And no matter what else, Richard Davis is Mr. Smile Inducer all over this thing, and Mel is his ginning co-conspirator. God bless 'em both for being there and doing that.

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Glad to hear you got a copy after searching around for a while! Nothing like having the real deal Mosaic!

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Yeah, got an "ok" price too. There was some very minor cosmetic damage to the photo on the box, everything else was/is perfect. I guess the investors didn't want that. Oh well, don't bother me any.

I'm even liking "Central Park West" (the chart) now, never really cared for ti that much in the past. Still don't, not as a piece itself (a lot of little ideas that never really make a big one, imo, although I know people with whose taste I otherwise concur who think it's Thad's masterpiece, so go figure...), but the recording is so damn clear now that it's hard not to appreciate the band's colors and their collective bite. Snooky Young, wow...

That bite, that's what I find myself enjoying about revisiting big bands lately. Nothing "moves air" quite like a great big band full of seasoned vets hitting on all cylinders (especially live). It's an option I'd kind of discarded for years, and it's fun to come back for a new taste.

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I don't mind the original reverb at all, actually. That's the way I grew up hearing this stuff, and it still sounds "right" (and "AM radio-ready") to me. But I'd not mind a re-imaging of it as long as it's not too dry. I hate uber-dry big band recordings. Some of those early Basie Pablos come to mind...

Finally got a copy of the set, don't notice too much of a difference with the reverb on the first three albums, but those last two...yeah, this is so much better. I like the original's sond, but this is nice and clear, sounds like a big band instead of a "big band record", if you know what I mean.

And no matter what else, Richard Davis is Mr. Smile Inducer all over this thing, and Mel is his ginning co-conspirator. God bless 'em both for being there and doing that.

It's a really w-i-d-e beat. Davis way on top, Mel on the backside, but in some kind of of perfect balance, so they form this big 'ole moving chair with front and back legs moving ahead in unison with the whole band riding on the cushion in the middle. And don't forget Roland ...

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Jim: You mean "Central Park North" (not "West"). A slip of the lip can sink a ship ...

Edited by Mark Stryker

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