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gmonahan

Musicraft

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So, I was recently reading about somebody recording for the short-lived original Musicraft label in the 40s--may have been Ellington--and I got to wondering--who owns that original Musicraft material now? And what jazz musicians besides Ellington and Gillespie recorded for it? If there weren't TOO many of them, it would seem a good candidate for one of Mosaic's "complete" label boxes, like the Bee Hive and Dial boxes (assuming, of course, that Mosaic was sufficiently healthy to do it).

 

 

gregmo

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Teddy Wilson recorded for Musicraft - I have a 78 of his on this label ( I surrender dear) 

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Some interesting Artie Shaw and Georgie Auld big band sides, early Mel Torme and Sarah Vaughan too.

The label began in the late '30s and by the late '60s had gone to sleep. Albert Marx (producer of some of the '40s sessions) picked up the pieces around 1980 and reissued a number of things on lp and cd. He eventually sold to Jac Holzman and Musicraft is now in the quagmire called Universal.

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I have quite a few of the reissue LPs released in the 1980's - Teddy Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Boyd Raeburn, Harry "The Hipster" Gibson - much of the material was on CD, too - I have the Ellington sides in that format. Everything I have is very good to excellent music. The list on discogs has some gaps but gives a good idea of the catalogue from 1940's shellac sides to CDs.

https://www.discogs.com/label/144929-Musicraft

A more detailed account can be found under http://www2.scc.rutgers.edu/ead/ijs/musicraftf.html

Edited by mikeweil

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The early Dizzy sessions were on Guild or Musicraft. I have 'Salt Peanuts' on Guild but I'm not clear of the relationship between the two labels.

 

12 minutes ago, mikeweil said:

Thanks for that interesting link

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I have the Dizzy Musicraft one. 

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1 hour ago, Clunky said:

The early Dizzy sessions were on Guild or Musicraft. I have 'Salt Peanuts' on Guild but I'm not clear of the relationship between the two labels.

 

Thanks for that interesting link

Memory says the small group sides were originally Guild and the big bands were Musicraft.

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217517.jpg

This has the complete Ellington/Musicraft sides, iirc. It's a fine set, too, if you do LPs. That was an interesting time in both Duke's and the band's evolution.

Wasn't Duke kind of given a hard time after Musicraft folded or whatever? Something about it being an independent label and the "powers that be" not appreciating that at all?

This was my first, and still best, taste of Al Sears:

And this really needs to be heard in full, in context, and here it is:

Part 2 is what generated "Night Train", but jeeeeesus, Part 1, hey.

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Some helpful links here--many thanks! So, it looks like the period of "interest" to us for this label would have been 1944-48. I've long had the Ellington material (Have "Golden Duke" 2-LP set that Jim notes as well as "Jam-a-Ditty" cd on Naxos), the Gillespie Guild and Musicraft stuff on the (briefly) revived Musicraft label itself ("Shaw 'Nuff") and Classics, the Shaw things on Classics, and the Sarah Vaughan recordings in, of all things, a Proper Box! As far as jazz goes, that leaves Teddy Wilson and Georgie Auld? I haven't checked, but I imagine those would also be floating around somewhere on old Classics cds??

 

 

gregmo

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3 hours ago, gmonahan said:

Some helpful links here--many thanks! So, it looks like the period of "interest" to us for this label would have been 1944-48. I've long had the Ellington material (Have "Golden Duke" 2-LP set that Jim notes as well as "Jam-a-Ditty" cd on Naxos), the Gillespie Guild and Musicraft stuff on the (briefly) revived Musicraft label itself ("Shaw 'Nuff") and Classics, the Shaw things on Classics, and the Sarah Vaughan recordings in, of all things, a Proper Box! As far as jazz goes, that leaves Teddy Wilson and Georgie Auld? I haven't checked, but I imagine those would also be floating around somewhere on old Classics cds??

 

 

gregmo

Kudos to that Naxos “Jam-a-Ditty”—a very good-sounding compilation of the Ellington Musicraft sides. Much of the Teddy Wilson material came out in the early 1990s on these two CDs:

Everytime We Say Goodbye

Isn’t It Romantic

Edited by ghost of miles

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6 hours ago, Brad said:

From a brief online search, it looks like a couple of people have tried to put a discography together.  There's a lot of non jazz. 

http://www.45worlds.com/78rpm/label/musicraft

http://www.78discography.com/Musicraft200.htm

 

 

Nice and informative links (the one on 45worlds.com (in particular), thanks!

So Joe Marsala, Herman Chittison, Cylde Bernhardt and, depending on one's purist (or non) tastes, Maurico Rocco and Phil Moore (in addition to the ones already mentioned, inciding Harry THe Hipster Gibson! ;)) deserve a nod for their jazz output on the label too. I think at least part of the Mel Tormé recordings were relased on the Musiccraft LP reissue series in the 70s/80s too. I have one of them, and while i have not listend to it for a while I remember it was being at least semi-jazz and not to be sneered at.

I am familiar with a few of the hillbilly records (through reissues). For those who are into early post-war country music, they can old their own among the lot of indies.

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Memory says the small group sides were originally Guild and the big bands were Musicraft.

Musicraft re-issued the Dizzy Guilds !

Edited by Jaffa
typo

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On 4/8/2018 at 6:55 PM, gmonahan said:

Some helpful links here--many thanks! So, it looks like the period of "interest" to us for this label would have been 1944-48. I've long had the Ellington material (Have "Golden Duke" 2-LP set that Jim notes as well as "Jam-a-Ditty" cd on Naxos), the Gillespie Guild and Musicraft stuff on the (briefly) revived Musicraft label itself ("Shaw 'Nuff") and Classics, the Shaw things on Classics, and the Sarah Vaughan recordings in, of all things, a Proper Box! As far as jazz goes, that leaves Teddy Wilson and Georgie Auld? I haven't checked, but I imagine those would also be floating around somewhere on old Classics cds??

 

 

gregmo

The Naxos "Jam-a-Ditty" (Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120813) is the best-sounding issue of the Ellington Musicrafts I've ever heard.  And I'm not saying that because my friend David Lennick did them.

There are half a dozen Capitol transcriptions from June 9 1947 rounding out the CD.

Musicrafts were pressed on licorice from the sound of the 78s I've heard.  (The Naxos issue is not, or no-longer, available in the U.S.A. I understand.)

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7 hours ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

Musicrafts were pressed on licorice from the sound of the 78s I've heard.  (The Naxos issue is not, or no-longer, available in the U.S.A. I understand.)

Those that I have as 78s (Harry The Hipster Gibson, Sherman Stewpot - yes indeed! Novelty! :D and I may have some by other artists) from memory don't sound worse at all than the average 40s Indie label 78rpm in comparable condition.

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12 hours ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

The Naxos "Jam-a-Ditty" (Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120813) is the best-sounding issue of the Ellington Musicrafts I've ever heard.  And I'm not saying that because my friend David Lennick did them.

There are half a dozen Capitol transcriptions from June 9 1947 rounding out the CD.

Musicrafts were pressed on licorice from the sound of the 78s I've heard.  (The Naxos issue is not, or no-longer, available in the U.S.A. I understand.)

I got the Naxos because of your previous praise for it!  :)

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I assume all these recordings are now in the public domain. 

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Why assume that?

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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You would know better but isn't the rule 75 years after issuance or am I wrong (won't be the first). 

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AFAIK Mickey Mouse is under copyright so.........

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I should have looked it up before I posted :( 

The rule is 95 years.  Works created and copyrighted (that is, registered or published) prior to January 1, 1978, are protected for 95 years from the date the copyright was originally secured (95 years from the earlier of the registration or publication). The 95-year period is divided into an initial term of 28 years and a renewal term of 67 years.1 Works created prior to January 1, 1978, that were neither copyrighted nor fell into the public domain before that date are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years, provided (i) in no event shall the term of the copyright in such a work expire before December 31, 2002, and (ii) if such a work is published on or before December 31, 2002, the term of the copyright shall not expire before December 31, 2047.

Source: https://www.royaltyexchange.com/length-of-ownership-music

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On 4/9/2018 at 2:29 AM, Big Beat Steve said:

Nice and informative links (the one on 45worlds.com (in particular), thanks!

So Joe Marsala, Herman Chittison, Cylde Bernhardt and, depending on one's purist (or non) tastes, Maurico Rocco and Phil Moore (in addition to the ones already mentioned, inciding Harry THe Hipster Gibson! ;)) deserve a nod for their jazz output on the label too. I think at least part of the Mel Tormé recordings were relased on the Musiccraft LP reissue series in the 70s/80s too. I have one of them, and while i have not listend to it for a while I remember it was being at least semi-jazz and not to be sneered at.

I am familiar with a few of the hillbilly records (through reissues). For those who are into early post-war country music, they can old their own among the lot of indies.

 

 

 

Thanks to Chuck and Ghost for the recs on Auld and Wilson. Some of the Torme things were issued on the first disc of a Proper Box. He also recorded with Shaw for the label a few times (available on a couple of the latter's Classics discs). The Joe Marsala sides might be fun to hear! Have those been reissued anywhere?!

 

 

gregmo

EDIT: I looked at allmusic, and it appears the six Marsala sides were indeed issued on Classics:

 

Marsala.jpg

Edited by gmonahan

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7 hours ago, gmonahan said:

EDIT: I looked at allmusic, and it appears the six Marsala sides were indeed issued on Classics:

 

Seven, actually. They also included an unissued tune: "I Would Do Anything For You".

Re- Mel Tormé, his Musicraft sides were reissued on the reactivated Musicraft label of the early 80s on 4 LPs: MVS-508, MVS-510, MVS-2000 and MVS-2005 in adition to the sides with Artie Shaw (MVS-503 and MVS-507). The sides with Artie Shaw had been reissued before (e.g. on Everest, according to Discogs)

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Some of the Ellington things saw life on Everest as well. Wonder who the hookups were, Albert Marx & Aubrey Mayhew?

71zumLUhOjL._SL1500_.jpg

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