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Morgan/Shorter and Chambers/Kelly Vee Jays


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Mosaic's customer service reigns supreme yet again...I ordered the Chambers/Kelly and Morgan/Shorter Vee Jay boxes on Tuesday and they were on my doorstep (in California) yesterday! Unbelievable.

I've been digging random tracks throughout. I had only two CDs of material from these two boxes prior - INTRODUCING WAYNE SHORTER and FANTASTIC FRANK STROZIER, both in 24 bit Blue Moon reissues. Despite some prior comments here, nothing really prepared me for the incredible improvement in sound...I had thought the Blue Moon stuff pretty good, but A/B'd it sounds like you're hearing the music on a whipped cassette deck and through speakers covered with cheesecloth. Un-freakin'-believable what Addey did (or perhaps its simply that the masters are in great shape and the copies they've used for years to make reissues are whipped, or both).

Given the nuances in the playing of people like Shorter and Morgan and Kelly and Cobb, this sonic upgrade makes a HUGE difference in enjoyment of the music itself. It's not just about the sound quality per se, it's about being able to hear little things they're doing and all the detail in the playing, the brushwork on "Blues A La Carte," Mogie's inflections while playing muted, etc. Fantastic. I have to say these sessions have immediately jumped a big notch up the scale in my estimation in terms of musical quality, now that I can actually hear what was going on! Instead of sounding like a second rate tenor player imitating Shorter, for example, Shorter now sounds like Shorter - it's actually quite remarkable how much he now sounds just as he did a few years later on Blue Note, if not quite as adventurous. I've always felt his tone is a tough one to really capture well on recordings - even Rudy Van G didn't quite get it some times - but it's beautifully registered here. In this remastering, "Pug Nose" now sounds like it would have slotted just perfectly into the album NIGHT DREAMER.

A note about the alternates: so far I have to disagree about them being mostly unremarkable. While it's true that the rhythm section's approach and the arrangements are pretty much cookie cutter from take to take, the solos are dramatically different and almost always just as interesting as on the masters. When you're talking about people like Shorter and Kelly and Morgan, how can anyone NOT like having more of their solos to savor and wonder over? I don't get it.

Nobody who is interested in the development of any of the artists featured on these boxes should miss these Mosaics - you'll kick yourself, trust me, and know that I ordered with many reservations that perhaps I shouldn't have.

In fact, anyone who loves the jazz of the early 60's would be well-advised to pick these up pronto, before the licensing issue mentioned first on another thread by bluerein makes them Ebay fodder earlier than expected, a la the Stuff Smith box:

Quote from Scott of Mosaic

That is correct. They'll be in our next catalog as running low. It is soon,

but that's the way the licensing agreement worked out.

Edited by DrJ
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I know you're probably just kiddin', but just in case - I think you have plenty of time, this was just posted a couple days ago and I'm sure there's no shortage yet. Just wanted to make sure people knew about this piece of info from Scott, as it was kind of buried in another more general thread about Mosaics that may not have sold too well.

I do also want to make clear, before anyone else jumps in and says it - for Shorter, I would certainly not put these sessions up with his Blue Notes in overall quality. Rather, what's fascinating is that you see major flashes of brilliance and uniqueness in his writing and playing mixed in with more "merely excellent" hard bop writing and more "in the shadow of Coltrane" playing. It's one of those small periods in time where you can literally hear, almost from track to track, a genius truly coming into his own. "Pug Nose" in particular is startling given its surrounding company, all of a sudden you say, "whoah, that's Shorter's composing!" But you also hear some flashes on the other less fully formed cuts - "Blues A La Carte," for example, is not so very far at all from the roughly contemporaneous "Lester Left Town" in its overall feel (but not structure) and incorporation of some unique twists on the hard bop form, yet far less heralded.

The fact that the supporting casts are so good throughout is just gravy.

For Morgan - I find his playing on the dates I've listened to so far is a bit more subdued than on the early Blue Notes, and that's not a bad thing to me, as I've said many times I like his playing a little less over the top and heated than it often was (which seems to be a minority opinion around here). The closest parallel would be with is playing on LEEWAY - which makes sense since it was roughly contemporary. If you dig him there, you'll dig him here for sure. Really nice muted work, nobody played quite like Mogie with a mute - it sounds like fire tempered by ice, not quite as mellow or moody the way most trumpeters sound muted.

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I just ordered the Chambers/Kelly and the Atlantic New Orleans (which is going OOP soon). I was on the fence about the NO set but decided to pull the trigger on that one too!! I'm going over to New Orleans in May or June and thought it would get me in the mood!!!

I'll pull the trigger on the Morgan/Shorter at the end of this month.

Mosaic is making me go broke!! Actually, I've been using my gig money to pay for my Mosaic's -- I'll need to find more gigs!!!!!!!! :excited:

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I got the credit card out & this happenedĀ  :unsure:

http://www.mosaicrecords.com/

Noooooooooo there all gonna go by the time they fix it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, what's up with the Mosaic web site being down? It was down yesterday, last night, and still today.

Damn, I can't check to see what's not gone OOP.

>other thread<

Edited by wesbed
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I'm a bassist so I had to go for the Kelly/Chambers set first (I had most of this on single CD's so I was sitting on it until I heard it might go OOP and the sound was so much better).

I just got my Kelly/Chambers set #1660 and my Atlantic NO set #3672. Can't wait to crack them open tonight after work!! :excited::party:

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I don't believe the Teddy Wilson is on the endangered list but even if it is I'd go for the Kelly set. The music (and the sound) is just superb. I don't have the Wilson set but I'd read a few comments here that after a while it got a little tedious. On top of that, you also get Frank Strozier in the Kelly set. That's a big plus, in my book.

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I am not exactly sure why I am announcing this, but it seems to be the custom around here... like getting engaged or something. I pulled the trigger this afternoon on the Chambers/Kelly set, and will reserve my CD dollars for the Shorter/Morgan set next month (if it is still available ... this list can cause runs on sets!).

There is a favorite Vee-Jay album of mine... The Art Blakey with Buddy DeFranco on bass clarinet ... what a pity that it could not have been remastered and included somewhere, This is DeFranco's only recorded excursion on bass clarinet, and he is just incredible.

Garth.

Edited by garthsj
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I figure I'll be able to get one of the two VeeJay sets.

Which one should I get? The Shorter/Morgan or Kelly/Chambers?

Please help me make my choice. :g

THE MORGAN/SHORTER by all means!!! For Godsake, man, don't miss it! One of my favorite Mosaics of all time, and a prime reason to keep on living.

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... On top of that, you also get Frank Strozier in the Kelly set. That's a big plus, in my book.

I guess you have the Koch reissue of his "Cool, Calm, and Collected" album? It's fantastic! (As is the recent Fantasy twofer)

On the Wilson: get it! Some of the best, most relaxed, easy flowing, piano trio music, and full of great ideas from Wilson. A true master!

Also the changing rhythm sections make things interesting. Not boring at all, to my ears! And the only boring date might be the first live one (Newport '57, I believe), otherwise it's really a great set.

ubu

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