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Question on some Avenue/Rhino Bethlehem Releases

king ubu

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I'm starting to track down the 1999 Bethlehem reissues on Avenue Jazz/Rhino and don't know whether the following should make my wantlist or not:

- Bob Dorough, Devil May Care

- Duke Ellington Presents

- Duke Ellingotn, Historically Speaking

- Frances Faye, Sings Folk Songs

- Johnny Hartman, All of Me

- Johnny Hartman, Song from the Heart

- Herb Jeffries, Say It Isn't So

- Carmen McRae, Carmen McRae

- Herbie Mann Plays

- Herbie Mann Sam Most Quintet

- Betty Roche, Take The "A" Train

Any comments on these?

Generally I like those reissues quite a lot, so I might well go for anything I'll be able to find, but concerning the ones listed above, I'd be glad of some short comments by anyone who owns them.



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I consider the Ellingtons to be essential components of my Ellington collection, and I love the Carmen McRae. The Mann and the Mann-Most are also good. Those would be my hot picks from the list. (I'm not really a Johnny Hartman fan. The Roche and the Jeffries are good. The Faye. . . well some great musicians on there, but I haven't yet fully acquired a taste for her singing.)

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Thanks, Lon!

Could have sent you a PM instead of starting this thread, knowing it would be you who'd be answering B)

Nice to hear something good about the Ellingtons and the McRae (but then, what other to expect...)

I will try to get as many of them as I'll be able


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I'll pitch in for the Johnny Hartman albums. I'm a great fan of his singing.

Same goes for Herb Jeffries and Betty Roche although I would not rate their

Bethlehem albums essential (agree with Lon on the Ellingtons, although both

came under some criticicism when they came out)

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Well, this is a very well timed thread!! I was just coming here to ask about these myself. You see, there's a local store that has a whole bunch of Bethlehem CDs in a special "2 for $10" rack. These are the late 90s remasters, not the Avenue Jazz ones. They have the Ellington which I was leaning towards and a Chris Conner that I've read is very good. How is the Charlie Persip date?



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Personal feelings about the ones I know well enough to comment on:

- Bob Dorough, Devil May Care - YUCK. Sorry, but Dorough's voice just bugs the hell out of me.

- Duke Ellington Presents - I'm no as enthusiastic about this one as others. It doesn't really sound "gelled" to me.

- Duke Ellingotn, Historically Speaking - Now THIS one I can get enthusiastic about! (Except for the perverse rendering of KOKO. Whichever critic raised a fuss over its desecration was on the money as far as I'm concerned. But that's the only bum note on an otherwise excellent album.)

- Johnny Hartman, All of Me - Ok, but not "essential".

- Johnny Hartman, Song from the Heart - Good, bot not quite up to Hartman's classic later work. At least not for me. He still hadn't reached that level of total relaxation and intimacy that begins on AND I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU. I'll say this though -this is probably the most bizarre use of bonus cuts I've ever encountered. They paint a picture of Hartman as totally dazed and confused, forgetting lyrics and generally sounding like he's totally out of it. Fascinating in a perverse way.

- Betty Roche, Take The "A" Train - Nice. Very nice. I like Roche quite a bit, and she's in good form and good company here.

Oh yeah, the Persip date is a killer!

Edited by JSngry
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Thanks for all your responses. Think I'll have to get way too many of these.

By the way: I'll be buying all the other Bethlehem/Rhino reissues anyway (such as Persip, Ervin, Tormé, Conner, Sims etc). I got the list of them which was once posted on another board. Those I listed in this thread are just the ones I wasn't sure whether I really need to have.

By the way, another of my favorites in this series - just because some recommendations have been made here, and it hasn't been listed yet - is Herbie Nichols' "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love", his last recording with Duviver & Dannie Richmond.


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Kevin, was the store with the two for $10 rack a Camelot Music or a related store? I'm in Florida on spring break and just picked up two discs from the same deal at our local Camelot affiliate (Spec's Music): Booker Little and Friend and the Byrd/Adams Motor City Scene. They sound fine, but are there any in this series of Bethlehems that should be avoided? I was thinking of also grabbing Mal Waldron's "Left Alone" but thought better of it, but not because of audio concerns...I had just picked up nine Concord discs at the Barnes and Noble down the street!

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