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Kenton Presents Mosaic


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I received my copy of the Kenton Presents box today. I have the package opened but have not yet heard a single note of music (listening time is coming later).

It seemed odd to open the shipping package and see a Mosaic box with a white cover. Then, to open the Mosaic box and there is a manual with the same white cover. I'm so accustomed to seeing the Mosaic boxes with the black & white, but more dark than light, covers. It seemed odd to see the record-album sized cover all in white. It seems very bright.

I know the Kenton Presents box has been available for a few years. The liner notes say it was released in 1999. For some reason, I've always thought the Kenton Presents box wouldn't sell many copies. Yet, from a series of 5000 copies, my set is numbered 3410. If the number is an indication, the set is more than halfway to its goal of OOP status.

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I've listened to the Bob Cooper and Bill Holman sessions so far. The Bob Cooper (Kenton Presents) is very much like the Bob Cooper (Select). However, the Kenton Presents Bob Cooper has the nicely-detailed Mosaic liner notes.

Till I received the Kenton Presents box I'd never heard of Bill Holman. Where has this guy been hiding? The Holman material is some of the best arranging I've heard. Where other arrangers (such as Bob Cooper and Gerald Wilson) seem to get caught in traps, to me, Bill Holman's music just continues to swing. His arrangements appear to ride above all the others. Sort of like, in my mind, the music is floating well above anything that could go wrong. It sounds clean, energetic, interesting, groovy, funky, and swingy. I'm glad to have discovered Bill Holman.

The white cover of the Kenton Presents box still seems odd, yet refreshing.

Edited by wesbed
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One of Bill Holman's masterpieces is the album he recorded on Thelonious Monk's music, "Brilliant Corners" (JVC, 1997). This is to me the best arrangements which were ever written on Monk's music, because it is as respectfull to the original spirit of the compositions as it still sounds original in its own way in the writing. Amazing stuff, completely fresh, even on some of the most heard Monk's tunes. Some very fine soloists like trumpeter Ron Stout too. Highly recommanded.

BillHolman.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Terrific Mosaic. I received this back at Christmas time and have loved it ever since. Charlie Mariano was an eyeopener for me. Another excellent album is the self titled Charlie Mariano (I think) on Bethlehem released in Japan. Lots of Frank Rosolino on there too.

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  • 3 years later...

I recently played this set again and it prompted me to mail Mosaic, asking about/suggesting a Bethlehem Rosolino/Mariano/Stu & Claude Williamson/Max Bennett/Carl Fontana whatever Mosaic - got a reply from MC now, and it's not possible for them to lay hands on any Bethlehem material for cost reasons, the owners of Bethlehem material want way too much money, he said - who are these owners? (Other than yet one more bunch of a$$es sitting on some great masters, that is?) Not Rhino, I guess? Rhino's but a licensing reissue-producing label, right? (Somehow connected with Atlantic/Warner, I guess, as they did tons of Atlantic reissues, jazz, soul, blues...)

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Not sure, but I think the masters are owned by Cayre Industries (?). FWIW, current legit reissues of Bethlehem seem to be happening only in Japan (by Toshiba-EMI).

In any case, those masters are probably devalued due to EU laws. Anyone can reissue much (or most) of that stuff in the EU... could it be that the owners ask so much dough from a prospective American reissuer because there's no point in trying to retrieve any money from the Europeans? (after-lunch speculation, I guess).

F

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  • 13 years later...

I found this box set today at a local store for $50 Canadian ($40 USD) and all 4 CDs were still sealed.  I noticed that the the lid and bottom box are attached via the spine. Is that how Mosaic used to do their boxes?  Every box I have from them (beginning with Elvin Jones #195) the lid comes off entirely. 

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57 minutes ago, dougcrates said:

I found this box set today at a local store for $50 Canadian ($40 USD) and all 4 CDs were still sealed.  I noticed that the the lid and bottom box are attached via the spine. Is that how Mosaic used to do their boxes?  Every box I have from them (beginning with Elvin Jones #195) the lid comes off entirely. 

Pulled this set off my shelves yesterday as the next Mosaic I'll be listening to. 

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Missed this thread the first time around ...

Does anyone have any background info on the rationale behind the limitations of what went into this "Kenton Presents" set? Choice of primary "name artists" from a sales point? Limitation of max. no. of CDs?
Because on the one hand the "Great Big Band" LP by Bill Holman never was part of the "Kenton Presents" series (though it was reissued later on Kenton's Ceative World label).
On the other hand the "Kenton Presents" LPs by Claude Williamson, Sal Salvador, Serge Chaloff and Boots Mussulli are not there. Was there ever another Kenton Presents Mosaic featuring these artists? I could not find any indication on Discogs. If there never was one they probably felt Serge Chaloff's "Boston Blow-Up" had already been reissued often enough (but did that keep them back in other cases? ^_^) and those leader dates of the others would probably have been too "special-interest-like", I guess (a pity, really ...)? 

Not to mention the "Kenton Presents" releases that were part of the original series (Ken Hanna and Al Belletto) but seem to have been consistently overlooked by the reissue market (except for one obscure Japanese CD of the Ken Hanna LP). Though they really are worth a listen for those interested in the broader scope of this branch of 50s jazz.

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I just brought up my copy of this set. Funny, mine does not have the hinged cover. Anyway, with snow falling this will be my morning listening. Weirdly, I had a good portion of this music on 2 and 3 disc 45 rpm EP sets that I bought as NOS from a record store in Providence in the late 70’s.

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41 minutes ago, Tom in RI said:

Weirdly, I had a good portion of this music on 2 and 3 disc 45 rpm EP sets that I bought as NOS from a record store in Providence in the late 70’s.

Considering the date of their initial release (and the period when multi-disc EP sets were current at all), this was really "New VERY OLD Stock" for this kind of items by the late 70s. :tup

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5 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Considering the date of their initial release (and the period when multi-disc EP sets were current at all), this was really "New VERY OLD Stock" for this kind of items by the late 70s. :tup

Yes it really was. It was a store selling instruments and sheet music. The EP’s were sold at $1.98, 2.98, and $3.98. Over e few weeks I probably bought 30 or so. I sold most on eBay about 4 years ago along with another 40-50 I had picked through the years. I still have some that didn’t sell.

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  • 5 months later...

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