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How many Verve Elite Editions do you have?


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#1 DrJ

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 11:34 PM

This thread was inspired by a question that someone asked me in another thread when I made a passing reference to the Verve Elites...I hope those who saw this post in that thread will indulge me the "double post," I've largely cut and pasted what I said there:

The Elite series was sort of like Verve's version of the Connoisseur series - more obscure titles from the catalog. Like the Conns, there were several runs, but then they ended up folding the more obscure titles into their LP sleeve and other reissue series, which has meant that they do less and less obscure stuff, just a few mixed in here and there with the Getz, Gillespie, etc "mainstays" of their catalog (not that those aren't often excellent, but still...). For example, it's probable the recent Billy Mitchell reissue would have been an Elite. Also like the Conns, often they'd throw in as a bonus other obscure/unreleased stuff.

The sound quality was uniformly excellent, and the packaging (well, except for the first few which came in a bizarre peek-a-boo slipcase that was totally unnecessary) was quite nice, with repros of the original artwork and labels as well as new graphics. The liners were often quite good too; original notes were always included, but they invariably added new stuff, often including things like interviews with the leader or a key player from the session in addition to the usual historical material. If it sounds like I was really fond of this series, it's because I was.

I BELIEVE this is a full listing (in no particular order) - the first run were issued in September 1997 and the last in August 2000:

Billy Bauer - PLECTRIST
INTRODUCING JIMMY CLEVELAND AND HIS ALL STARS
LISTEN TO ART FARMER AND THE ORCHESTRA
Dizzy Gillespie - PERCEPTIONS (great J.J. Johnson here)
Illinois Jacquet - THE KID AND THE BRUTE (w/ Ben Webster)
Hank Jones - URBANITY
Yusef Lateef - BEFORE DAWN (stands nicely with his roughly contemporary Savoys)
Meade Lux Lewis - CAT HOUSE PIANO
Paul Quinichette - THE VICE PRES
Alan Shorter - ORGASM
Jack Teagarden - THINK WELL OF ME
CLARK TERRY
Dinah Washington - THE BEST IN BLUES
THIS IS TAL FARLOW
Sonny Stitt - ONLY THE BLUES
Harry Edison - THE SWINGER/MR. SWING (2 CD set)(Jimmy Forrest is basically co-leader)
Lee Konitz - MOTION (3 CD version - as opposed to the replication of the original LP only for the more recent edition)
JOHNNY SMITH
The Jazztet - HERE AND NOW
Lawrence Brown - SLIDE TROMBONE
Art Blakey - BLAKEY (w/a bonus date led by Joe Gordon)
Ray Brown - BASS HIT!
Roy Eldridge - SWINGIN' ON THE TOWN
The Jones Brothers - KEEPIN' UP WITH THE JONESES (originally on MGM)
Walt Dickerson - IMPRESSIONS ON A PATCH OF BLUE (ditto)
Buddy DeFranco/Oscar Peterson - THE GEORGE GERSHWIN SONGBOOK
Modern Jazz Society - A CONCERT OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC (John Lewis, Getz, Lucky Thompson, and others)
HERB ELLIS MEETS JIMMY GIUFFRE (some nice Art Pepper on this one too)
George Russell Sextet - AT THE FIVE SPOT
Wynton Kelly - IT'S ALL RIGHT!
Stan Getz and the Clarke-Boland Big Band - CHANGE OF SCENES
Louie Bellson - SKIN DEEP
Lalo Schifrin - DISSECTION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF MUSIC FROM THE PAST AS PERFORMED BY THE INMATES...(and it just keeps on going, you have to see the title to believe it, this is not a joke!)
Ed Thigpen - OUT OF THE STORM (w/Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell)
Various - ELITE EDITION COLLECTORS' DISC

One last thing to mention is that, unlike the Conns, it seems these were often given a very spotty distribution...often unless you snagged them in the first few months after issue, they disappeared, and in fact a few (the Lalo Schifrin and Johnny Smith come to mind) were some of the harder CDs I've ever tried to track down. As all are out of print now, you may have a task ahead of you to locate some of these if you're interested.

Anyone else want to give up some love for this outstanding series? And if so, how MUCH love have you given in the way of hard earned cash in exchange for how many titles?

#2 Free For All

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Posted 22 September 2003 - 11:57 PM

Good topic- these reissues deserve more attention.
I have about a dozen of these and have been very pleased with what I've heard. The Dizzy, Art Farmer, Jimmy Cleveland (I'm thrilled to find ANYTHING by this under-appreciated trombonist), Lalo Schifrin, Konitz (I must say I prefer the most recent version of this one), Stitt and Jones Bros. are favorites.
The most startlingly outstanding acquisition, though, was the Thigpen side Out of the Storm. This contains some amazingly great Clark Terry playing. It's one of those things you listen to and just crack up, it's so good. He does a solo on mouthpiece only that transcends "schtick".
Thigpen, Herbie, Burrell, Ron Carter and Clark. Can't go wrong w/that band.

Plus, I got Ed Thigpen to sign my copy. :)

#3 DrJ

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:13 AM

Yeah, OUT OF THE STORM is a real killer; short in length, but full of great playing. Cool that you got Thigpen's autograph!

Speaking of Clark Terry, his entry as a leader (CLARK TERRY) is one of my favorites also. The original session is wonderful, with Terry in top form on some great early Quincy Jones compositions and the great Jimmy Cleveland again being represented. As a bonus on the CD, Verve included a contrived but, with 50 years of hindsight, rather charming session called CATS VS. CHICKS set up by Leonard Feather (Terry was in on this one, thus the connection). This was a "girls against boys" kind of thing, but done with good humor and allowing a glimpse of some excellent, under-recorded female jazzers of the era including Lorraine Geller. Not to mention the presence of Terry, Tal Farlow, and other greats).

There are countless such gems in this series, which was all about rescuing great music from obscurity and giving it the treatment it deserved. Truth be told, in many ways this series surpassed BN's admittedly great Conn series in terms of quality (sonic, packaging) and truly unexpected salvages.

Edited by DrJ, 23 September 2003 - 12:16 AM.


#4 kenny weir

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 01:00 AM

I'm surprised to find that I have nine of hthese. Without doubt my favourite of those is the Art Blakey/Joe Gordon. Outstanding!

#5 Aggie87

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 01:59 AM

I've only got two at the moment - the Wynton Kelly disc and the Collector's disc, both of which are great.

One of my local stores had the Dickerson (w/Sun Ra) for a while, but was gone when I finally decided I wanted to get it. :(

How is the Hank Jones title, "Urbanity"? I've seen it available used, but haven't snatched it up yet.

And how does this series differ from the VME series, or whatever it's called? Like the recent Kirk "Domino" reissue?

#6 king ubu

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 02:43 AM

I have all of them except the Meade Lux Lewis, the Washington, the Schifrin (anyone has a copy left?) and the Collector's disc (has this one anything NOT reissued on other VEEs?)

I like the series very much! Favorites include the Thigpen, Alan Shorter, Joneses, Edison, Konitz, Terry, Gillespie, Bauer, Cleveland, Jacquet, Lateef, Farmer, Jazztet, Brown discs. And the Joe Gordon album on the Blakey disc is cool, too!

I knew none of that stuff before, so it held many pleasant surprises!

ubu

Edited by king ubu, 23 September 2003 - 02:58 AM.


#7 vibes

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 03:47 AM

I've got 24 of these, and in general have loved what I've heard. Like Tony, I've found these to have excellent sound and interesting notes. It's a very good way to discover new music. I started off with "Orgasm" (not a bad way to start ;) ), and went from there. I had never heard of the series when I bought the CD, but really liked what I saw and heard and wanted to have more.

Some of my favorites from the series:

Ed Thigpen - Out of the Storm (buy it if you can find it! Great cover art, too)
Yusef Lateef - Before Dawn (a few very interesting compositions on this one, and I really like the use of the celeste in some places)
Johnny Smith - (amazing guitarist, always a pleasure to listen to. Unfortunately, this is one of the more expensive ones to purchase these days, as it's hard to come by. I think I paid $40 for mine)
Walt Dickerson - Impressions of a Patch of Blue (Sun Ra helps to make this date something really special)

If anyone is looking to buy more of these or finish off their collection, I have a beat up copy (CD is perfect, packaging is beat up) of the Stitt and sealed copies of the Getz and Gillespie that I'd be willing to part with for the right price.

#8 Aggie87

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 03:58 AM

I have all of them except the Meade Lux Lewis, the Washington, the Schifrin (anyone has a copy left?) and the Collector's disc (has this one anything NOT reissued on other VEEs?)

ubu - The Collector's Edition disc does indeed have unique material on it:

1. Let's Fall in Love [1] -Louis Armstrong / Oscar Peterson - 3:33
2. Dancing in the Dark [Mono Version] -Bill Evans - 4:25
3. La Rosita - Coleman Hawkins/Ben Webster - 2:34
4. Shine on Harvest Moon - Coleman Hawkins/Ben Webster - 2:17
5. Memories for the Count - Harry "Sweets" Edison/Buck Clayton - 7:19
6. The Moon Is Low - Roy Eldridge/Benny Carter - 3:07
7. Close Your Eyes - Oscar Peterson - 3:49
8. Playboy Peterson - Oscar Peterson - 2:15
9. Prayer, a Jazz Hymn (AKA Hymn to Freedom) - Oscar Peterson - 6:55
10. Squatty Roo - Johnny Hodges/Dizzy Gillespie - 7:23
11. Duke's Place - Ella Fitzgerald/Duke Ellington - 4:12
12. With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair - Tal Farlow - 3:00
13. Broadway - Jimmy Smith - 10:22
14. Let's Fall in Love [2] - Louis Armstrong/Oscar Peterson - 3:12

#9 king ubu

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 04:30 AM

Aggie, thanks! But this is strange: La Rosita and Shine on Harvest Moon are from the Bean encounters Ben album, no? There, they play for at least double the time you gave!?
And then, none of these tracks were on VEE discs!
Will have to look for this disc. Think I saw it in a shop.

And yes, the Dickerson is a good one, too! Some weird groovy stuff on this one!

ubu

#10 jazzbo

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 05:27 AM

Okay, I have to confess, I made a point of having my local Tower order each of these for me and I have them all. . .. :o

#11 king ubu

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 05:30 AM

Okay, I have to confess, I made a point of having my local Tower order each of these for me and I have them all. . .. :o

Why confess? That was truly a great series I think! Just as good as the Conns or whatever...
Can you clear things with the Collector's disc? Does that have stuff from other (not VEE) dates? Stuff released on VMEs? Or rare takes?

thanks,
ubu

#12 Aggie87

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 05:58 AM

Ubu -
These are alternate, previously unreleased takes. I don't have my cd here at the moment, otherwise I'd verify that.

#13 jazzbo

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 06:56 AM

Very few of the takes on the Collector's disc, if any, have been released before in any other format.

#14 mikeweil

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:25 AM

This is what I posted about the Elites I have in the Conn thread:

"I intended to buy all Verve Elites, although I'm not a completist - but got rid of some of these as well: The Stitt, the Hank Jones, the Tal Farlow, the Konitz, the Johnny Smith .... didn't like them enoght to keep them, space and budget limits.
The ones I didn't buy were the Meade Lux Lewis, the Kelly (had it on LP and found it downright boring), the Farmer, the Alan Shorter, the Teagarden, the Edison (If I had known Jimmy Forrest is on it I would have got it for sure), the Bauer, the Eldridge, the Washington, the Brown (this may be one to hunt), the Russell (disappointing compared to the others I have), the Jazztet and the Schifrin. But the one I have I dig very much - the Elites and the Conns. "

A friend had borrowed me the Tigpen LP some 20 years ago, so I knew what to do when it was reissued! Great playing from all involved.
Th Walt Dickerson with Sun Ra is a gem, I play it often. Same for the Clark Terry - they could have included all of the Cats vs. Chicks date, even if Terry isn't on all of the tracks.
There is some more Blakey on EmArcy, there was a different compilation in Japan several years earlier.
The Ray Brown is nice, too.
It's 15 I kept - would by the Edison for Jimmy Forrest if I can find it.

I think the basic difference between the Elite and Master Edition besides the slightly different cover concept is the sales potential - Elite titles are limited because it's more obscure stuff, the Master will sll more over a longer period of time - pretty much the difference betwenn the Conn and RVG series. The LPR series has taken the role of the Elite series, but of Verve By Request as well, I believe. The Tjader etc. would have been VBR, for sure.

#15 jacknife

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:29 AM

I have only 1, Jazztet - Here And Now. The only thing I don't like about it is how the cd is jammed into the cardboard slot with no protective sleeve, It fits so tightly that I have to grab a hold of the disc and yank it out.

#16 mikeweil

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:32 AM

Forgot to mention the Quinichette - I dig it to death. That too isn't all this artists did for the label.
And the Cleveland, had an Lp of it and knew what to expect. There was some great hardbop related stuff on EmArcy in the mid to late 1950's!

My wish list for future Verve etc. reissues, no matter in what series (I prefer the non-mini-LP covers):
the Cal Tjader Verve not yet on CD
dtto for Ray Brown
dtto. for Jimmy Giuffre

The LPR series covers Impulse/ABC and Argo/Chess/Cadet as well, which had their separate series at the time the Elite was run. Universal series ...

#17 connoisseur series500

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 10:29 AM

I have only 1, Jazztet - Here And Now. The only thing I don't like about it is how the cd is jammed into the cardboard slot with no protective sleeve, It fits so tightly that I have to grab a hold of the disc and yank it out.

That's the only one I've got as well. What you don' JK, copying my collection?? ;)

I had the Roy Eldridge which I liked initially but tired of it quickly.

Obviously, this is a series I should pay more attention to.

#18 WD45

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 10:54 AM

Have these:
Billy Bauer - PLECTRIST
Tal Farlow - THIS IS TAL FARLOW With my man Eddie Costa!
Buddy DeFranco/Oscar Peterson - THE GEORGE GERSHWIN SONGBOOK Pretty straight versions, but beautiful.

Had these at one time or another:
Dizzy Gillespie - PERCEPTIONS Sounded rather third stream in a bad way for me.
Hank Jones - URBANITY
Alan Shorter - ORGASM Never quite gelled for me, and I love all of those players, esp. Gato.
Ray Brown - BASS HIT!
George Russell Sextet - AT THE FIVE SPOT

#19 Adam

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:29 PM

I think I have 19, including the Collector's Disc. I can't remember whether I have the Hank Jones or the Stitt.

#20 BruceH

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 12:43 PM

I have five, all having got lots of play at my house. (Lately the Jazztet and the Ellis.) This was a great series----should have gotten better distribution and kept in print longer (MUCH longer)! Hate the gatefold/slipcase design though; I don't enjoy having to violently yank a disc from a too-tight sleeve. I've put all mine in slimline cases. I've looked for Out of the Storm, Swingin' On the Town, and The Swinger/Mr. Swing for some time without success. That's modern Verve for you.

#21 Jim R

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 01:10 PM

I have 11 of these:
The Jazztet- Here And Now
Jimmy Cleveland- Introducing Jimmy Cleveland And His All Stars
Art Blakey / Joe Gordon- BLAKEY / Introducing Joe Gordon
Ed Thigpen- Out Of The Storm
Johnny Smith- Johnny Smith
Wynton Kelly- It's All Right!
Tal Farlow- This Is Tal Farlow
Billy Bauer- Plectrist
Art Farmer- Listen To Art Farmer
The Jones Brothers- Keepin' Up With The Joneses
Lawrence Brown- Slide Trombone

The Jimmy Cleveland may be my favorite, especially (as someone mentioned) with his work as a leader being so limited and difficult to find. For reasons that I can't explain, I've found several of these used in local stores for $5-$7.

Count me among those who dislike the CD packaging and (in some cases) amazingly ugly, illegible, garish artwork/design (I'm looking at the Lawrence Brown packaging as I'm typing this... ouch. Sure makes me appreciate the basic b&w Mosaic approach all the more).

Having a chance at some of this music on CD for the first time is great, though.

#22 sidewinder

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 01:38 PM

This was a very fine series - bit of a 'curates egg' in terms of material but in common with Mosaic it brought forward some real gems which would otherwise have stayed pretty obscure. I've got twenty-something of them and like pretty well the whole lot. Particular highlights though are:

Sun Ra/Walt Dickerson 'Impressions of a Patch of Blue - I play this one a lot. Amazingly relaxing for a Sun Ra album and very atmospheric. As a result I started seeking out more Dickerson and followed up with their later 'Visions' album on Steeplechase.

Ed Thigpen 'Out of the Storm' - What more can I say about this short but joyful gem. Seek and buy !

Lalo Schifrin 'The Dissection and Reconstruction etc etc OK, this one can sound just a teeny weeny bit cheesey in parts but its loads of fun and captures the 18th Century theme nicely and the lineup looks like a 'ghost' Gil Evans orchestra. Great cover and liner notes too ! Another winner.

Billy Bauer 'Plectrist' - Fantastic album by the guitar maestro and a real cult item with guitar afficionados and fans of the Tristano school.

Yusef Lateef 'Before Dawn' - Damned difficult to track down this one but worth it, at least as good as Yusef's Savoys. Yusef's tenor solo on the title track is a standout.

George Russell Sextet at the Five Spot - One to add with the Riversides as prime 60s George Russell. Inspired !

Harry Edison 'The Swinger and Mr Swing - Has Mr Edison ever recorded a bad album? (I've yet to hear it ....)

Alan Shorter 'Orgasm' - One of the prime offerings in this series, for me. Not a great technician on the flugel but full of original and thoughtfull compositional ideas. Sadly, an unrealised talent but the legacy of this and the work on Wayne's 'All Seeing Eye' compensates.

I could also mention 'Motion', 'Here and Now', 'Introducing Jimmy Cleveland' and 'Listen to Art Farmer', the Lawrence Brown and the Paul Quinichette but I'd be here all night .. :D

Edited by sidewinder, 23 September 2003 - 01:48 PM.


#23 sidewinder

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 01:55 PM

How is the Hank Jones title, "Urbanity"? I've seen it available used, but haven't snatched it up yet.

It's predictably excellent - a very 'urbane' sounding and typically tasteful session. Well worth the hunt to acquire.

#24 mikeb

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 01:58 PM

I have all ... the only one that I didn't like (and wound up getting rid of) was the Alan Shorter ...

I had the opportunity to buy two copies of the Schifrin, but bought just the one. Wish I had bought the second, I might have been able to fund my kid's college tuition with it! :g

Nah, I know the price has come down on it ... and I don't have a kid.

#25 sidewinder

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 02:03 PM

Strangely enough, the vinyl Lalo de Sade seems to be reasonably plentiful (although most seem to have been plastered on the wall of that restaurant in Ipanema, according to the sleeve notes .. :g )

#26 jacknife

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 05:42 PM

What you don' JK, copying my collection


Better than stealing it, right? :D

#27 montg

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 08:35 PM

I have the Blakey, Jacquet, Teagarden, Eldridge, Terry, Brown, and Jazztet CDs. All are fine although I find Lawrence Brown's playing a little hard to warm up to for some reason. Jazztet and Tea probably get the most playing time.

I see the Elites pop up now and then and I'm never sure whether to pull the trigger--the recommendations in this thread are gonna be helpful.

Edited by montg, 23 September 2003 - 09:01 PM.


#28 Dmitry

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 09:11 PM

The Collector's Edition disc does indeed have unique material on it:

1. Let's Fall in Love [1] -Louis Armstrong / Oscar Peterson - 3:33
2. Dancing in the Dark [Mono Version] -Bill Evans - 4:25
3. La Rosita - Coleman Hawkins/Ben Webster - 2:34
4. Shine on Harvest Moon - Coleman Hawkins/Ben Webster - 2:17
5. Memories for the Count - Harry "Sweets" Edison/Buck Clayton - 7:19
6. The Moon Is Low - Roy Eldridge/Benny Carter - 3:07
7. Close Your Eyes - Oscar Peterson - 3:49
8. Playboy Peterson - Oscar Peterson - 2:15
9. Prayer, a Jazz Hymn (AKA Hymn to Freedom) - Oscar Peterson - 6:55
10. Squatty Roo - Johnny Hodges/Dizzy Gillespie - 7:23
11. Duke's Place - Ella Fitzgerald/Duke Ellington - 4:12
12. With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair - Tal Farlow - 3:00
13. Broadway - Jimmy Smith - 10:22
14. Let's Fall in Love [2] - Louis Armstrong/Oscar Peterson - 3:12

I saw it a couple of weeks ago and never bothered, because I thought it was a compilation culled from the VE cds. :rmad:

#29 DrJ

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 10:01 AM

I forgot to mention, I have the whole series EXCEPT the Collector's Disc...why I haven't pulled the trigger is hard to say...now that I think about it, I HAVE to have it... :ph34r: :g

#30 Brad

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 11:10 AM

I've got 7 of these. My favorite is probably Paul Quinichette's the Vice President, with one of the highlights being Count Basie on organ. Jimmy Cleveland is also up there, especially since there's not much of his around. A similar trombonist like that would be Mathew Gee', whose Jazz By Gee is a must in my book, which should still be available from Fantasy.



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