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JohnJ

Louis Armstrong Decca Mosaic Box

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I have the opportunity to pick up the 6CD Mosaic 'The Complete Decca Studio Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars'. I know it is OOP and the price is very attractive so I am sure that I will indeed buy it, but I would appreciate it if anybody who owns this set give their opinion on the music itself. There is only a brief (positive) description on AMG and I cannot find a track listing anywhere, so any views would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

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It's amazing music. I am a huge fan of Armstrong, and this is a great set to have. Almost all if not all the music is available elsewhere, but it's a wonderful assembly and a very well produced set.

Verve did a great thing by putting out an expanded "Autobiography Sessions" release in the last few years. It includes the little monologue introductions NOT included in the Mosaic set. Still, I like the sound on the Mosaic as well or if not better, and NOT having the introductions is not that big a deal to ME. It may be to others.

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If you like armstrong this is an excellent selection..

It includes all of the Armstrong Autobiography recordings, but without the narration by LA( with Billy Kyle in the background). Also the autobiographical selections are in chronological recording squence, and do not follow the "historical" sequence of Armstrong's life. It was a little weird to me because I was so familiar with the LP sequence.. something that usually doesn't bother me, but as this set was designed as a narrative presentation, the order of these tracks on the Mosaic is a bit unsettling. The Auto... used two live tracks, that do not show up in the Mosaic.

So if you have the Autobiography ( most recently reissued on CD via verve) there is quite a bit duplication. If not , you get a terrific selection of LA playing tunes from his early days, that he rarely played later in his career, plus the New Orleans Function set and the music recorded for the Glenn Miller story ( three takes of Basin St. with different line ups though).

I guess Lon and I were simo-posting :g

Edited by P.D.

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If you can get it for a good price then I'd say go for it, but don't overpay as much of this is available in other packages. I prefer the Verve "Autobiography" 3-fer as i love Louis' spoken intros.

Actually, for a good chuck of LA that isn't in this set, but that I think is even better and more fun to listen to, check out the 4-disc "California Concerts" package on Decca. I picked this up recently and it's zoomed to the top of my list of favorite Armstrong recordings.

Ray

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Jazzbo, P.D. and RDK, thanks for the helpful comments. I own nothing that is on this set and scandalously little Louis anyway, so I will pick it up. The price, used, is the equivalent of just under $60 which I think is quite reasonable for an OOP Mosaic.

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$60????

Wow - That's a great price. Given the quality of the set and the fact that you've got very little Armstrong, you can lose.

By the way, an Armstrong set recently sonld on ebay for $187.50

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What are the best alternatives to the Mosaic's Complete Decca Studio Recordings of Louis Armstrong and the All Stars, if I were to assemble the non-Mosaic cds piece-meal?

This set has 6 cds or 8 Q-Lps[they don't pop up on eBay very often].

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I don't think there is enough of this material on individual cds to duplicate the Mosaic All Stars set, unless a European label such as Definitive has duplicated the Mosaic. If they have I'm unaware of it and I would prefer the Mosaic anyway.

It's great music.

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Hmmmm. . . you definitely HAVE TO GET the "Autobiography" sessions two cd set on Verve. This will take care of about half the Mosaic, and have a few extra bits as well I think.

And get the two digipak Deccas that are out, "I Love Jazz" and "Satchmo Serenades." Contain stuff on the Mosaic, and stuff not on the Mosaic, but good to have, and both are nice reissues in great sound.

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Hmmmm. . . you definitely HAVE TO GET the "Autobiography" sessions two cd set on Verve.  This will take care of about half the Mosaic, and have a few extra bits as well I think.

Autobiography is a 3 disc set.

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Yup. I can't count. I used to have two cdrs of this from the lp set, so I get confused that way easily.

ONE more reason to get it.

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Edited by jazzbo

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Hmmmm. . . you definitely HAVE TO GET the "Autobiography" sessions two cd set on Verve.  This will take care of about half the Mosaic, and have a few extra bits as well I think.

And get the two digipak Deccas that are out, "I Love Jazz" and "Satchmo Serenades."  Contain stuff on the Mosaic, and stuff not on the Mosaic, but good to have, and both are nice reissues in great sound.

Thank you. I already have the "I Love Jazz" and "Satchmo Serenades". Will pick up the 3-cd set next! Great that it's all available in retail!

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by the way guys, is there any link to the discography of this set?

many thanks in advance

Marcus Oliveira

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I'm glad to have the Mosaic, but I would be hard pressed to say that it's "essential." Still, at a good price I'd say "go for it." Myself, I listen mostly to the first few discs, with the "classic" All Stars Teagarden-Hines-Bigard personnel.)

I'm tempted to get the "Autobography" material on the Verve reissue JUST for the introductions, if I can find it at a good (AKA "cheap") price. There's just something about Louis's voice, not to mention his powers of perception, especially when he's speaking "off the cuff."

A question for those who know: does Louis sound "natural" on these intros, or as though he's reading from a script? I realize that that is a judgement call, but what do YOU think?

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To me he sounds like Louis, natural.

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B00005S761.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Never saw this Japanese version. . . .Looks cool.

Almost time for the birthday celebration!

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If you have a bead on the Mosaic for $60, do not hesitate, grab it. That's a fantastic price for a great set.

One personal opinion - as much as I love Louis' story telling, I actually don't think the spoken intros on the AUTOBIOGRAPHY set are particularly interesting, in fact they're even mostly boring to me...they don't exactly sound like they're being read from a script but they are generally quite bland and generic sounding compared to, say, Louis' engaging live stage show patter (even the bits that he did over and over for years, somehow he managed to keep those fresh sounding). So personally I don't think one is missing anything important by those having been excised on the Mosaic.

Grab that Mosaic set...best $60 you'll ever spend.

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I'll agree. . . it's not essential really to have the introductions UNLESS you have a sentimental attachment to them (I do, loved the lps I had and managed to get all knicked up in my youth) and unless you want the extra material on the Verve set not on the Mosaic and possibly a bit of improved digital sound (I think the Verve sounds a smidgeon better).

But the music is SO good.

Edited by jazzbo

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Grab that Mosaic set...best $60 you'll ever spend.

I did DrJ, around two years and three months ago, shortly after my 1st post. :P

Anyway, agree entirely that it was money very well spent. Love the set.

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2003????? Darn revived threads; I've been snookered again!

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Moi too! :blush:

Anyway, Lon I do agree with you on sound quality, the Verve AUTOBIOGRAPHY set is quite nice in that regard, tops the Mosaic by a nose (CD version at least...haven't heard the LP version).

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Curious, seeing so much love for this set years back would $110 be a good price now for this set? I've also done some research on the Satchmo The Musical Autobiography and it's priced on Amazon for $140. Ebay not any better. That's clearly out of the question unless they're other options. Thought this set might make a nice Christmas present to myself. Thoughts please. I'm presently listening to the Musical Autobiography on Spotify and love the Armstrong vocal intro's but the current price is again out of the question.

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Seems to me like $23 per disc is about average for an out of print Mosaic. I like it for the Teagarden material, and the sound is excellent.

 

 

gregmo

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