December 1996


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Columbia Records - "This is Jazz" Columbia Records have prepared and released a series of recordings primarily aimed at the beginner in jazz collection.

Painstakingly created from various great recordings of "Masters of Jazz" who recorded for the Columbia label. It is one of the best on the market today and could easily be acquired as a set (ideal for the Christmas season), or individually for the person who wants only certain artists/or eras.

At the present moment there are 21 titles, and I have been told that Columbia plans to release a total of 60 titles in groups of ten.

Starting, and rightly so, with the wonderful sessions of Louis Armstrong, the series covers a very broad spectrum of jazz.

In the series called "This is Jazz" they are as follows:

Charles Mingus

Another giant of Jazz, bassist, composer and arranger Mingus is here featured in various settings of recordings mostly done in 1959. His genius shines through on each track and the musicians whom he chose to work with reach exciting levels of their profession. Listen in particular to "Better Git it in Your Soul", "Gunslinging Bird" and "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat".

CK 64624 To Order

Wayne Shorter

Another member of the Miles Davis Band here as a leader of his own groups, including four tracks from Weather Report albums, exposes the rare talent of creating interesting charts and exciting playing. 10 tracks in all to intrigue any jazz fan who wishes to explore the fusion field.

CK 64973 To Order

Louis Armstrong

Beginning in 1926 and ending in 1931 these tracks are some of the most exciting Armstrong available. They have been inspirational and influential to many a young trumpeter over the years, and are to be considered amongst the best of his early years as a player. The solo work is unique on every track, and there is a warmth and happiness that is quite infectious, the essence of jazz.

CK 64613 To Order

Sarah Vaughan

The Divine One, Sassy, whatever name you wish to call her, Sarah Vaughan was without question, one of the most important singers in jazz, and she left a remarkable legacy behind her, and some of the best is on Columbia.

These tracks are taken from "The Divine Sarah Vaughan", "Brazilian Romance", and "Gershwin Live", spanning a period from 1949 to 1982. With great backing and arrangements, Sarah does justice to each and every song she sings.

CK 64974 To Order

Chet Baker

Chet sings and plays and is backed up by a string section on some tracks, in others he is in the company of Zoot Sims, Russ Freeman, Bud Shank, Shelly Manne, Paul Desmond and others too numerous to mention. Chet is in his peak at this time.

CK 64779 To Order

Gerry Mulligan

Mr. Baritone Sax. Mulligan won DownBeat awards for best Baritone for many years, and some of the reasons why are in this wonderful disc. The tracks cover a period from 1958 through 1974 finding Mulligan in the company of Chet Baker, Art Famer, Tommy Flanagan and Dave Brubeck.
Exceptional material, and the quality of playing matches the disc, superb.

CK 64972 To Order

Billie Holiday

Most of the wonderful music on this CD comes from the period in Billie's life before the pain, anguish and sadness period which haunted her declining years, much of which, incidentally is also well documented on disc. These sessions show a much happier artist in her peak along with many of the top musicians in jazz of the period including Roy Eldridge, Ben Webster, Buck Clayton, Teddy Wilson, Urbie Green and Lester Young.

CK 64622 To Order

Return to Forever

Jazz from the Seventies with leader Chick Corea, another major influence in the newer sounds of jazz. Jazz Fusion with strong tinges of a Latin feel and vital new voices including Al DiMeola, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Joe Farrell and Gayle Moran.

CK 64967 To Order

Maynard Ferguson

This is the Big Band in transition, into the more popular idiom but still with that blistering power of the early bands (pre-Columbia). The leader, who could hit High C above High C in the days of playing with Stan Kenton still has great chops and gets plenty of opportunity to display the technique along with some superb sidemen. Check out "Birdland", "The Fox Hunt", and "McArthur Park" as typical examples of exceptional arranging and performing.

CK 64970 To Order

Count Basie

The Basie Swing Machine is represented on seventeen tracks for this CD (#11 in the series), and it swings hard all the way, featuring the Big Band and the Kansas City Seven. The recordings come from periods including 1936, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1944 and one track from the historical meeting with the Ellington Band in 1961. The Kid from Redbank at his very best.

CK 64966 To Order

George Benson

Crossing many paths of jazz is the setting for one of the finest jazz guitarists in this package. With support from David Sanborn, Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette amongst the many artist on this CD, Benson is at his best.

CK 64631 To Order

Dave Brubeck

Like Ellington, Brubeck was a prolific recording artist for Columbia, so it must have been equally difficult to choose tracks that would showcase the best performances. But it has been possible, as this recording will attest. The famous Quartet featuring the liquid alto of Paul Desmond perform some exciting renditions of "Take Five", "Jeepers Creepers", "Gone with the Wind" and others.

CK 64615 To Order

Miles Davis

Without question one of the most important figures in jazz, Miles Dewey Davis 'recordings for Columbia were the most inovative. The sound of his acoustic playing is well documented on this CD which includes some of his best playing from the time period represented. "'Round Midnight", "Summertime", "So What", and "ESP" are some of the titles here that you can enjoy over and over again.

CK 64616 To Order

Duke Ellington

These are remarkable tracks by the Ellington band including the "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" with 27 choruses by Paul Gonsalves recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival. There are other "Classics" on this recording too, including "Prelude to a Kiss", "C Jam Blues" and "East St. Louis Toodle-O". Billy Strayhorn, Jonny Hodges are among the members of the band, plus special guest appearances by Clark Terry and Dizzy Gillespie.

CK 64617 To Order

Erroll Garner

His appearance on stage was always one of profound happiness and it carried over into his playing even in the cold confines of a studio. A self-taught musician he could play some incredible music as is found here in solo and trio settings.

CK 64968 To Order

Stan Getz

The smooth sound on the tenor sax of Stan Getz is well represented on this disc with numerous settings including one of his famous Bossa Nova contacts Joao Gilberto. Other musicians include Jimmy Rowles, Elvin Jones, Gary Burton, Bob Brookmeyer, Albert Dailey and Herbie Hancock.

CK 64969 To Order

Benny Goodman

The King of Swing, his clarinet and Orchestra are highlighted on this set with some guest artists such as Count Basie and Harry James. Some exceptional recordings, and again the outstanding thing about these releases is the sound quality, considering that tracks are taken from many different sessions, some years apart, the technology utilized in the re-mastering ensures that one hears a total balance through the disc.

CK 64620 To Order

John McLaughlin

The brilliant British guitarist, who was in the first Miles Davis fusion band (Bitches Brew) is represented here in various settings. With his own bands Shakti, Mahavishnu Orchestra, playing acoustic guitar with Al DiMeola and Paco DeLucia, playing some remarkable duets with classical pianist Katia Labeque, jamming with Carlos Santana, some raw excitement with Tony Williams, and leading his electric One Truth Band. If you have no McLaughlin in your collection, this is one you should not pass up.

CK 64971 To Order

Thelonious Monk

Monk's music was probably captured best on Columbia, and This particular set displays that to the fullest, from the Quartet to the Big Band, it is all here. "Round Midnight", "Bemsha Swing", "Misterioso" are some of the tunes, and the musicians include Charlie Rouse, Frankie Dunlop, John Ore, Phil Woods and more.

CK 64625 To Order

Weather Report

Joe Zawinal and Wayne Shorter were two musicians who played in Miles Davis' groups and went on to form this unit, one of the most successful "fusion" bands to ever record and maintain a strong following from the more than fifteen albums they recorded for Columbia. Selections on this recording include "Birdland", "Black Market", "Teen Town" and "Orange Lady".

CK 64627 To Order

"This is Jazz" Sampler

Want to check the quality and listen to a cut from each of the above before you decide, then this sampler will give you an insight with one tune from each of the aforementioned recordings.

CK 65008 To Order

As a set I have enjoyed every minute, as singles or a set they would please the most discriminating jazz fan. Highly recommended either way.

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