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Which Box Sets do You Regret Buying, and Why?


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15 hours ago, Face of the Bass said:

I like the Evans Verve set. I like the music, I like the packaging even. I like the rust. I've never had any problem with anything interfering with the music on that set. 

The packaging that I really don't like is Mosaic. The cookie cutter approach does a real disservice to the music. I'd rather see a company go for something and try to make a statement with the packaging than to just use the same formula over and over again.

One reason I'm glad that Mosaic has never done a Sun Ra set is that their boring packaging would be a complete disservice to Sun Ra's vision. 

That is an interesting way of thinking about it.  Indeed, creative packaging can sometimes go very well with creative music.   But I really admire Mosaic's approach, which focuses not on creative packaging but on the music: the best possible sound, extensive liner notes from the best possible experts, the most accurate and complete information about the music.  

Edited by John L
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6 minutes ago, John L said:

That is an interesting way of thinking about it.  Indeed, creative packaging can sometimes go very well with creative music.   But I really admire Mosaic's approach, which focuses not on creative packaging but on the music: the best possible sound, extensive liner notes from the best possible experts, the most accurate and complete information about the music.  

Indeed - I’d rather have superb session photography reproduced in a good booklet and a decent essay than creative packaging. In that area, Mosaic really score.

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5 minutes ago, John L said:

That is an interesting way of thinking about it.  Indeed, creative packaging can sometimes go very well with creative music.   But I really admire Mosaic's approach, which focuses not on creative packaging but on the music: the best possible sound, extensive liner notes from the best possible experts, the most accurate and complete information about the music.  

I'm sure Mosaic saves money by using its cookie-cutter design template, but it does nothing to entice me to buy.  

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15 hours ago, Face of the Bass said:

I like the Evans Verve set. I like the music, I like the packaging even. I like the rust. I've never had any problem with anything interfering with the music on that set. 

The packaging that I really don't like is Mosaic. The cookie cutter approach does a real disservice to the music. I'd rather see a company go for something and try to make a statement with the packaging than to just use the same formula over and over again.

One reason I'm glad that Mosaic has never done a Sun Ra set is that their boring packaging would be a complete disservice to Sun Ra's vision. 

I'm downsizing and strongly dislike the bulky oversized Mosaic packaging. Don't want to add any more of those massive boxes, only consider Mosaics if the musical content is truly compelling.

I prefer something like the Julius Hemphill box on New World: 7 CDs of well-curated music with a fine booklet (I don't require the big photos which render Mosaic books oversized), the entire package fitting into approximately one of the Mosaic fatboy inner boxes (!).

Edited by T.D.
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On 10/19/2022 at 2:43 PM, jlhoots said:

Paul Dunmall 50 CD set. Although some is very good, I've never gotten through the whole thing. In addition the packaging was suspect from a storage point of view.

Whoa that's a huge set. Never knew about it until now but I actually could see myself buying that and then questioning why I did it. There have been many times where I have been on the verge of buying one of those large Ken Vandermark sets and not pulling the trigger. I like Vandermark but not that much and I know I would not devote the time to it I should. Same reason I have stayed away from the Braxton sets aside for the Charlie Parker one. 

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Re: Mosaic packaging, so glad they did away with the hinge, should have been that way from the beginning. The two boxsets I sort of regret buying are the Mosaic Woody Herman Mars recordings (haven’t found the music as compelling as I’d hoped) and the 75 disc Jazz in Paris. I’ll probably keep both though and I do dip into the JiP set periodically. Maybe I’ll appreciate it more over time.

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3 hours ago, Tom in RI said:

Re: Mosaic packaging, so glad they did away with the hinge, should have been that way from the beginning. The two boxsets I sort of regret buying are the Mosaic Woody Herman Mars recordings (haven’t found the music as compelling as I’d hoped) and the 75 disc Jazz in Paris. I’ll probably keep both though and I do dip into the JiP set periodically. Maybe I’ll appreciate it more over time.

I almost went for that JiP CD set when I saw it at the old J&R Music in NYC years ago but alas the baggage allowance ruled it out. Maybe just as well - that thing almost needs its own room !

Edited by sidewinder
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On 10/24/2022 at 8:56 AM, sidewinder said:

I almost went for that JiP CD set when I saw it at the old J&R Music in NYC years ago but alas the baggage allowance ruled it out. Maybe just as well - that thing almost needs its own room !

I got it in Paris way back in 2002 when the euro was at around 78 cents to the dollar. Bringing it back was definitely a challenge! The JIPs do indeed occupy their own space!

 

 

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The Bitches Brew box. Man, they really got that album right, the rest of the box is super boring, IMO. Always figured these were the outtakes Miles was referring to when he said Columbia was waiting for him to die so they could release all that stuff (paraphrasing from memory. I also understand some of those tracks found their way to albums like Big Fun and Get Up With It).

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I don't visit this box set often mainly because I have better sounding (to me, in my systems) versions of the material I listen to most in the set than the sound in this box set. But I don't quite share your dislike of the material.

And to set the record straight there are no sides from "Get Up With It" from this set--all those sides were recorded later than this "period" of Miles Davis' New Directions in Music. There are three tracks that made it onto the original "Big Fun" release (and two that were added for some reason--they don't really fit to me--to the later cd reissue) and one studio track from "Live/Evil" is included on this box set.

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Not including Mosaic is  there any box set packaging that people particularly like? I must admit that  some of the ones I find most attractive are not the most practical.  E.g The Mercury set that looks like a radio, the Charlie Christian Columbia set that looks like an amp, the Ray Charles set that looks like a portable record player. 

I guess the most practical are the Atlantics that come with each cd in a case and a hard cover booklet. 

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21 minutes ago, medjuck said:

Not including Mosaic is  there any box set packaging that people particularly like? I must admit that  some of the ones I find most attractive are not the most practical.  E.g The Mercury set that looks like a radio, the Charlie Christian Columbia set that looks like an amp, the Ray Charles set that looks like a portable record player. 

I guess the most practical are the Atlantics that come with each cd in a case and a hard cover booklet. 

I like the Atlantic Trane, Mingus, and Ornette packaging, also the packaging for the Columbia big boxes that have all of the albums by an artist, such as the Miles Davis 70-something CD set, with the mini-lp sleeves inside a bigger box.  I actually don't like the Mosaic packages as they are too big and also don't include the original artwork anywhere.

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On 11/19/2022 at 8:10 PM, medjuck said:

Not including Mosaic is  there any box set packaging that people particularly like? I must admit that  some of the ones I find most attractive are not the most practical.  E.g The Mercury set that looks like a radio, the Charlie Christian Columbia set that looks like an amp, the Ray Charles set that looks like a portable record player. 

Another one to add to the "not the most practical" list: the Jelly Roll Morton complete Library of Congress recordings, with the box that looks like a piano. The "keyboard" is pretty flimsy cardboard, and is certainly not designed for longevity. My copy has held up well but I've been careful when handling it. I bought it in-store at a Borders so I was able to verify it wasn't damaged, but I can only imagine how some of these fared when mail-ordered if they weren't packaged securely. 

ghows-DA-6948d5e2-877c-410c-861d-d10da1d 

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I like the way the Brownie Complete Emarcy Box is done.  They seem to have decided to put one session or two closely related sessions per disc.  So if that meant a disk with 44 minutes and others well over an hour, so be it.  They were not trying to pack as much as possible into each disk but rather have disks represent sessions.  I like this from a listening point of view.  It's easy to follow who is playing - the different bands are segregated by disk.

I also like lots of sets that are collections of original albums and have mini lp covers with the original artwork, such as those recent Columbia sets from Music on CD. 

The Mosaic sets are quirky and different and I love them.  I generally rip the cd's to disk and photograph the booklets - very nearsighted and prefer blowing up the text and reading on a monitor without glasses.

I do regret buying Lester Young, The Complete Aladdin Recordings, which is a 2 cd set.  Only after I got it did I realize I had all of it (except for 2 tracks without Lester Young) on the 2016 Lester Young/Count Basie Mosaic set I have.  Oops.

Edited by Stompin at the Savoy
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On 11/20/2022 at 2:10 AM, medjuck said:

Not including Mosaic is  there any box set packaging that people particularly like?  

The Original Jacket Collection classical sets that Sony does. They also did a few jazz sets that way, such ads Brubeck, Dexter, Blakey. They are good to look at and handle and are quite space efficient.

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On 11/20/2022 at 3:10 AM, medjuck said:

Not including Mosaic is  there any box set packaging that people particularly like? I must admit that  some of the ones I find most attractive are not the most practical.  E.g The Mercury set that looks like a radio, the Charlie Christian Columbia set that looks like an amp, the Ray Charles set that looks like a portable record player. 

I guess the most practical are the Atlantics that come with each cd in a case and a hard cover booklet. 

What I consistently like are the box sets by BEAR FAMILY and (by deduction because they adopt a similar concept and presentation) those that I have seen and handled on Be!JAZZ and Be!SHARP.
Which I guess shows that accompanying documentation in the box sets matters to me.
(Which means that on THIS account Mosaics are up there too - but their outward presentation can make you feel depressive in the long run. I remember I once saw a wall of them at the home - or rather attic - of a very advanced collector. Not an appealing sight, that wall of blackest of black spines  ... ;);))

Re- the radio-type Mercury set, yes this was extremely impractical. I remember seeing them new in a local record store. I was tempted but given the price I took my time to decide (particularly because there also was wuite a bit of overlaps with what I already had on vinyl). And what was more, somehow those they had on display seemed to budge in all directions when you wanted to open them to look inside. And then, when I went back there one day the only one left was badly cracked and split. So no deal, sadly.

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