This whopping 30-CD box set gathers together the best of Trojan's three-disc box set series. Included are the Ska, DJ, Dub, Instrumentals, Jamaican Superstars, Lovers, Producer Series, Rocksteady, Roots, and Tribute to Bob Marley volumes, each of which can be found under Trojan Box Set for their individual reviews. What's lacking here is a booklet with additional notes and information; the bulk seems to demand some extra coverage and care, yet all that's here are the original notes of each volume – only as much text as can fit on the back of the CD sleeves.
This 20-disc box set has been entertaining me for several months. Dutch pianist Ivo Janssen set up his own record label to distribute his 1997 Goldberg Variations, recorded on the hoof over two days in Haarlem. Its success prompted him to tackle Bach’s complete keyboard output. And there’s a sense of fly-by-night impetuosity about some of these performances, all taped in the same venue with the same producer, the cycle finally finished in 2009.
To simplify my life considerably, I'm going to combine the "reviews" of all six Stage releases into a single entry, even though they were released individually. Also, to save a lot of time and effort, I'm not going to give complete track listings of the twelve discs, or do song-by-song reviews (hey, we're talking over 800 minutes of music here, give me a break). If you need to know the track listings, they're probably available through an on-line music sales site like CDNow, or an information site like the All Music Guide. There's probably a few other Zappa sites that list them as well. Maybe one day when I have the time, I'll come back and expand this section to really cover all twelve discs in detail. Until then, I'll just give some general facts and opinions, focusing on highlights and material unique to the Stage series.