Johnny Smith is an exquisite jazz guitarist known mostly to fellow musicians and serious jazz fans. This beautifully packaged and expertly annotated eight-CD limited-edition boxed set from Mosaic includes his complete small-group recordings for Roost, most of which have languished out of print for decades. Smith's unique voicings on his instrument set him apart from other players, yet he maintains a lush, crystal-clear tone no matter the tempo or setting.
In Concert – Carnegie Hall is George Benson's final recording for Creed Taylor's CTI label, and was mostly recorded on one night in 1975. There was some additional recording done at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in 1976, where Taylor replaced the original rhythm section of Wayne Dockery on bass and Marvin Chapell on drums with Will Lee and Steve Gadd, for whatever reason Taylor had at the time. Regardless, this is a solid "live" effort with Benson cooking on all burners, beginning with a monster version of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five," which had been cut on an earlier album and had become a staple in the live set.
Some of Count Basie's finest recordings were cut for the Roulette label during 1957-1962, and all of his studio performances are included on this massive Mosaic ten-CD boxed set. Among the classic former LPs that are reissued here are The Atomic Mr. Basie, Basie Plays Hefti, Chairman of the Board, Everyday I Have the Blues, and Kansas City Suite. With such soloists as trumpeters Thad Jones and Joe Newman, the tenors of Frank Foster and Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Frank Wess on alto and flute, vocals by Joe Williams, and the timeless arrangements of Neal Hefti, Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Ernie Wilkins, and Frank Wess among others, this essential (but unfortunately limited-edition) set features the second Count Basie Orchestra at its very best.
Buddy Rich, the most remarkable drummer to ever play jazz, can easily have his career divided into three. During 1937-1945 he was a notable sideman with big bands including those of Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw, and Tommy Dorsey. In 1966 he formed his own successful orchestra that capitulated him to his greatest fame. During the 20 years in between, Rich led short-lived bebop big bands, a variety of combos, toured with Jazz at the Philharmonic, recorded with all-star groups, and had stints with the orchestras of Dorsey and Harry James. This seven-CD set draws its material from Rich's second period and it can also be divided into two. The first half has Rich recording for producer Norman Granz in a variety of combos.
Count Basie defined the jazz meaning of swing. His band could get more bounce from a line that any other. And though his soloists were never of highest dazzle, they always fit the program. These live recordings from 1959, 1961 and 1962 capture the Count at his comfort. Mosaic has done its usual fine job with them on eight CDs. Roulette itself has reissued 12 of the cuts on a single CD entitled ``Basie in Sweden,`` for those who just want a taste.
Sarah Vaughan recorded frequently during her three years with Roulette, and all 16 albums she completed for them plus five previously unissued tracks are included in this comprehensive eight-CD boxed set from Mosaic. The gifted singer is heard in a variety of settings, from superb small-group sessions to big-band settings and various dates bordering on easy listening; the sessions omitting the often syrupy string sections are the cream of this bumper crop.
The Complete CBS Buck Clayton Jam Sessions (extremely rare & limited 1993 US 32-track Mosaic audiophile 8-LP box set) is a superlative package contains all the jam session recordings for CBS, plus alternate takes and originals restored to their full length, with soloists including Joe Newman, Ruby Braff, Urbie Green, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman & more. Housed in a beautifully presented textured outer black box with front pasted picture cover, complete with an informative 20-page LP sized booklet, featuring stunning black & white session photographs and extensive liner notes).
The Complete Blue Note/UA/Roulette Recordings of Thad Jones is a wonderful limited-edition three-disc box set, containing everything the trumpeter recorded for the labels in the late '50s. Jones was a fantastic hard bop trumpeter, and the set captures him in all of his glory, making it of interest to serious hard bop connoisseurs.