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ghost of miles

Favorite single-disc series?

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I pulled out Lawrence Brown's Slide Trombone the other day and found myself marveling all over again at what a great series Verve Elite was--maybe my favorite, in fact.  What series, either on CD or vinyl, has really stood out for you?  (Hep, Mosaic Singles, RVG, the 1970s Blue Note two-fers, etc.)

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The Verve Elite was a very good series, I agree. I really like almost ever issue and have them all (bought as released).

Other series that stood out for me were Jazz in Paris (I learned so much from that series), the Savoy series from Denon (man, that was an exciting series of reissues, I had my friend who was the Tower jazz buyer seek out and order every batch) and the series of reissues from Blue Note of the "pre-bop" material (I love that material and would love to see it reissued again in state of the art sound).

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The Maybeck Recital Hall series on Concord.  This series really introduced me to a number of pianists, some of whom I'd only heard of as sidemen, some of whom I'd never really heard of at all at the time -- Don Friedman, Joanne Brackeen (who suggested to Carl Jefferson the idea of recording at Maybeck), James Williams, Fred Hersch, Ralph Sutton, George Cables, Barry Harris and others.  It's interesting to hear all the different pianists in the series recorded in the same venue and, I assume, the same piano over the years.  A lot of the discs are excellent solo recordings.  I wish the series could be revived today, but I don't know who owns the Maybeck hall today and if they (or Concord) would be open to the idea.

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Recently, I've really enjoyed the "Xanadu Master Edition Series" from Elemental.

I also have quite a few 32Jazz reissues of the Muse catalog.  I'm not sure whether those count as a "series."  But, in any case, it's some of my favorite music. 

For vinyl, I really like "RCA Victor Vintage Series" -- most of them had the wine-rack design on the cover.  Between Bechet, JRM, Duke, Fats, and others, there's just so much great music there. ...And I still enjoy spinning those LPs -- even if most of the music has been reissued more comprehensively in other sets. 

R-1518439-1484750577-6787.jpeg.jpg  R-2669539-1487362011-7625.jpeg.jpg

There's a lot to be said for an artfully-programmed single LP of music originally released as 78s. Often, they feel more approachable than the huge, "impossible-to-hear-in-one-sitting" boxes.*

 

* Not that I'd ever want to give up any of those box sets! ;) 

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, duaneiac said:

The Maybeck Recital Hall series on Concord.  This series really introduced me to a number of pianists, some of whom I'd only heard of as sidemen, some of whom I'd never really heard of at all at the time -- Don Friedman, Joanne Brackeen (who suggested to Carl Jefferson the idea of recording at Maybeck), James Williams, Fred Hersch, Ralph Sutton, George Cables, Barry Harris and others.  It's interesting to hear all the different pianists in the series recorded in the same venue and, I assume, the same piano over the years.  A lot of the discs are excellent solo recordings.  I wish the series could be revived today, but I don't know who owns the Maybeck hall today and if they (or Concord) would be open to the idea.

Oh yeah. Good call. :tup 

Edited by HutchFan

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Despite the controversy around the sound, it's hard for me to not say the RVG remasters overall. So many albums that i wouldn't have heard otherwise.

A bit of a cheat but also the multiple Japanese 1000/1500 yen budget reissues which fall under various series names :)

 

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I'm with HutchFan. The Victor Vintage series was one of the great single-album reissue series. On cd, OJC.

 

 

gregmo

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At the time, the Blue Note rainbow series was the shits.

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I was from the get go partial to the labels Fantasy eventually acquired.  So I guess my favorite series was the twofers they put out in the late '90s.

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13 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

I pulled out Lawrence Brown's Slide Trombone the other day and found myself marveling all over again at what a great series Verve Elite was--maybe my favorite, in fact.  What series, either on CD or vinyl, has really stood out for you?  (Hep, Mosaic Singles, RVG, the 1970s Blue Note two-fers, etc.)

The late 90s were a golden age for CD reissues and the Verve Elites were the pinnacle. While not technically series, both Impulse and Columbia had a nice run of reissues of interesting titles (I'm thinking the Shepp and the live Rivers on Impulse and Giuffre's Free Fall, etc on Columbia) for a brief period before the major labels started to cheap out again.

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15 hours ago, HutchFan said:

For vinyl, I really like "RCA Victor Vintage Series" -- most of them had the wine-rack design on the cover.  Between Bechet, JRM, Duke, Fats, and others, there's just so much great music there. ...And I still enjoy spinning those LPs -- even if most of the music has been reissued more comprehensively in other sets. 

R-1518439-1484750577-6787.jpeg.jpg  R-2669539-1487362011-7625.jpeg.jpg

There's a lot to be said for an artfully-programmed single LP of music originally released as 78s. Often, they feel more approachable than the huge, "impossible-to-hear-in-one-sitting" boxes.*

 

* Not that I'd ever want to give up any of those box sets! ;) 

 

I have quite a few of this series too and they are nice as an introduction. But as far as SINGLE LP series in THIS area go, I'd rather go for the (French) Black & White reissue series (the ones with the - mostly - black front cover that predated the later 2-LP Jazz Tribune sets - something like 203 volumes in all!), even if you take these series just as an introduction to the subject matter. They were more comprehensive, more thoughtfully planned and treaded where others did not dare to go through the RCA catalog reissue-wise at that time (and for a long time before and after). Over in the US you may not have been exposed that much to that series (and therefore still tout the Vintage series ;)) but really, the Black & White series did go one better indeed.

Case in point: I do have the Harlan Leonard RCA Vintage LP and do like it as an introductory set but in the end I only kept it because I only have one of the two Black & White LPs that featured the band's FULL recorded output (and since that second B&W LP did not make for one full LP's worth of Leonard tracks  they also included the early 50s George James recordings - who?? Which OTHER label would have dared to resurrect those (they ain't bad, BTW)? Certainly not the Vintage series ... ;)) (Oh yes, I have the Chronological Classics Harlan Leonard CD too but am still hanging on to my LPs as well).

 

Speaking of which ... how come NO ONE has mentioned the Chronological Classics single-CD series as "favorite" here yet? Considering the cult status they seem to have attained ever since they suddenly went under there must be some who'll just drool at the mere mentioning of that name? ^_^


 

 

 

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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I'll go with the OJC series - introduced me to a lot of music and reintroduced me to some.

For earlier music, Frog has done some very good reissues.

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loved the Verve Elites but other favs were the Black Vogue Digipak Series & the french America series (Lacy, Waldron, Braxton, Shepp, Shorter, NYA4/Rudd, Bley, Thornton etc)

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Let's not forget Directions In Music by Miles Davis

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7 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

I have quite a few of this series too and they are nice as an introduction. But as far as SINGLE LP series in THIS area go, I'd rather go for the (French) Black & White reissue series (the ones with the - mostly - black front cover that predated the later 2-LP Jazz Tribune sets - something like 203 volumes in all!), even if you take these series just as an introduction to the subject matter. They were more comprehensive, more thoughtfully planned and treaded where others did not dare to go through the RCA catalog reissue-wise at that time (and for a long time before and after). Over in the US you may not have been exposed that much to that series (and therefore still tout the Vintage series ;)) but really, the Black & White series did go one better indeed.

That makes sense.

Though, as you say, not many of those over here on this side of the pond. I think I've only got one of those Black & White reissues -- a Fats Waller solo piano set.

 

 

3 hours ago, paul secor said:

I'll go with the OJC series - introduced me to a lot of music and reintroduced me to some.

Remember the OJC catalogs that you could get in Tower back in the day?  In the days before the internet, I learned tons about jazz by poring over those!

Edited by HutchFan

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Blue Note Conns!  And the  Rainbow Series was amazing, as was much of both the 2CD series, the light brown ones and the dark brown ones.    

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Blue Note 'brown bag' twofers, Rainbow series and the Prestige 24000 series twofers. Plus the Arista Savoys of course.

Verve Elite for sure - lots of gems in that series.

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I have fond memories of that Columbia series in the late '70's that put older albums into new covers with a $2.99 price point: Bud Powell - A Portrait of Thelonious, Art Farmer Plays the Great Jazz Hits, and the like.

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1 hour ago, sidewinder said:

Blue Note 'brown bag' twofers ... and the Prestige 24000 series twofers. Plus the Arista Savoys of course.

 

Yes, of course :tup - if we are counting twofers instead of single LPs too!

Re-Blue Note "Brown Bag" : You're referring to the mid-70s United Artists reissues, I guess? They also did single-LP reissues, BTW, and also reissued records that did not come from BN but from Aladdin subsidiaries (e.g. Art Pepper) or Liberty (e.g. Bill Perkins).

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Pacific Jazz released a 12-CD series (plus a sampler) titled "West Coast Classics". Absolutely outstanding music!

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I grew up on 1990s OJC and Blue Note CDs. The Connoisseurs were particularly exotic, to me at least.

Edited by rdavenport

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1 hour ago, Stonewall15 said:

Pacific Jazz released a 12-CD series (plus a sampler) titled "West Coast Classics". Absolutely outstanding music!

Yes, I'll add that great series too. I think I have all of them.

BBS - yes, the 'Brown Bag' series is the UA twofer LP sets. When they came out over here it was like Mana From Heaven as Blue Notes of any type other than Donald Byrd/Blackbyrds etc. were very elusive.

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5 hours ago, HutchFan said:

 

 

Remember the OJC catalogs that you could get in Tower back in the day?  In the days before the internet, I learned tons about jazz by poring over those!

I have a PDF version of what I believe was the last of those large Fantasy catalogs (2004). I still refer to it.

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11 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

I have a PDF version of what I believe was the last of those large Fantasy catalogs (2004). I still refer to it.

Now that you mention it ...

Rummage, rummage ;) ... yes, I still have an original 1995 Fantasy catalog. Useful as a refernce source indeed.

The numerical index lists all the OJCs from 001 to 840 (LPs and CDs, thankfully they did not change their numbering for the CDs). From 675 onwards the releases seem to be CD only. Is this correct? No OJCs beyond 675 pressed on vinyl anymore?

 

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2 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

The numerical index lists all the OJCs from 001 to 840 (LPs and CDs, thankfully they did not change their numbering for the CDs).

There are very few exceptions. The one that comes to my mind immediately is the Mary Stallings /Cal Tjader LP which had different OJC numbers on LP and CD:

Fantasy LP 12"3-325 — Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings 
Fantasy LP 12"8068 — Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings 
Original Jazz Classics LP 12"OJC-284 — Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings 
Original Jazz Classics CDOJCCD-1106-2 — Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings 

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