Features material from The Connection, Shades Of Redd, and an Unissued Session! Available in a box set as either three LPs or two CDs, this limited-edition release has all of the music recorded at pianist Freddie Redd's three Blue Note sessions. In addition to the selections originally included on the LPs Music From the Connection and Shades of Redd, there is a completely unissued date that adds to the fairly slim Freddie Redd discography. Altoist Jackie McLean (who is on all three sets) and tenor saxophonist Tina Brooks (a key soloist on two) co-star with the pianist; trumpeter Benny Bailey is also heard from the later date. The music is comprised mostly of Redd's originals (including seven songs written for the stage play The Connection) and fits into the style of the mainstream hard bop of the day, although with a few personal touches. Straight-ahead fans and Blue Note collectors can consider this set to be essential.
Drummer Art Blakey led many great editions of the Jazz Messengers from the inaugural mid-'50s sessions until his death in the '90s. While arguments rage regarding which was his best, there is no doubt that the 1960-1961 unit figures in the debate. This wonderful six-disc set, notated with care and painstaking detail by Bob Blumenthal, covers studio and live sessions from March 6, 1960, to May 27, 1961, with the same personnel on all but two songs. Producer Michael Cuscuna used only first issue dates, and while he included some alternate takes, he did not litter the discs with second-rate vault material. They smoothly detail the band's evolution, cohesion, and maturation. This set, as with all Mosaic boxes, goes beyond essential. Get it post haste.
Blue Mitchell was always a consistent, lyrical, and pleasing trumpeter. Although not as significant during the 1960s as Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard (much less Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis), Mitchell had his own appealing sound and was a major asset on many modern mainstream dates. This four-CD limited-edition Mosaic box set collects Mitchell's first six Blue Note dates as a leader: Step Lightly, The Thing to Do, Down With It, Bring It Home to Me, Boss Horn, and Heads Up.
This limited-edition eight-disc set combines all of Elvin Jones' Blue Note recordings from April 1968 through July 1973. This 65-track set contains the LPs Puttin It Together, Ultimate Elvin Jones, Poly-Currents, Coalition, Genesis, Merry Go Round, Live at the Lighthouse, Mr. Jones, and The Prime Element. Jones makes his presence as a band leader undeniable on these sessions allowing the musicians to stretch out while directing the evolution of the pieces.