Review of jazz reissues on CD
For those who subscribe to Stereophile mag, you may have noticed a review in the August issue of the new Mosaic Select series of reissues on CD. Mosaic Records has, for many years, been reissuing comprehensive sets of work by many of the greatest jazz artists. The new "Select" series consists of releases by artists that are less well known than the artists featured in the earlier Mosaic packages, and the packaging and liner notes are more like standard reissue packages. Like the earlier Mosaic releases, the "Select" series is also a limited edition (5000 copies), numbered series, but more modest in scope.
Stereophile reviewed the first two reissue sets, and based on the article I decided to order the Carmell Jones set. (Carmell Jones was a fine trumpet player who was certainly the equal of Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and others of the time.) I am pleased to tell everyone that the Jones reissue (Mosaic Select #2) is a fine addition to anyone's jazz collection. I have an old LP of Carmell's, and liked his work, so it was a treat to listen to this new 3-CD reissue set which features the work of 4 recording sessions for the old Pacific Jazz label.
The Pacific Jazz label featured well-known artists from Los Angeles' Central Avenue jazz scene from the mid-1950's to the early 1960's. Richard Bock produced and engineered many of the Pacific Jazz sessions, before joining Contemporary Records as a full-time producer. Bock captured some great music on tape, and this reissue of Carmell Jones is no exception. Jones had a wonderfully fluid, lyric style of playing with a very clear brass tone, and he reminded many listeners of the late Clifford Brown (although his style lacks a bit of Brownie's blistering attack).
The original Pacific Jazz tapes, now more than 40 years, have received an excellent re-mastering, and the audio quality is very good (I'd rate the sound as 7-8 on a 10-point scale). But the music is why you'd want to buy this reissue set, and it does not disappoint.
There are a total of four "Select" reissue sets now available:
1. Grachan Moncur III (trombone)
2. Carmell Jones (trumpet)
3. Bennie Green (trombone; a colleague of Dizzy Gillespie's)
4. Randy Weston (piano)
For more information about these sets, go to the Mosaic web site at: www.mosaicrecords.com
Now here's the bonus: if you order any Mosaic set (either the new "Select" series, or the standard releases) before July 31, Mosaic will give you a $5 discount on any of the Rudy van Gelder series of re-mastered Blue Note recordings. The regular price of the "True Blue" CD's is only $13, so you can apply the $5 discount and get the CD for $8. Mosaic gives you a $5 discount offering for each CD in a series (i.e., if you buy a 3-CD "Select" set, you get 3 "coupons" for $5 off on any "True Blue" reissues).
Note the expiration date of the offer: July 31st.
If you take advantage of this offer, and you like the guitar work of Grant Green, I suggest you buy Green's CD titled "Am I Blue". This recording has never been released before on CD, and it's a very mellow, relaxed session featurig Johnny Coles (trumpet), Joe Henderson (tenor sax), John Patton (organ), and Ben Dixon (drums).
Good listening to everyone!