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King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band: The Complete Set
King Oliver
King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band: The Complete Set
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2


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All Artists: King Oliver
Title: King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band: The Complete Set
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Challenge
Release Date: 5/27/1997
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: New Orleans Jazz, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 608917900712

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CD Reviews

The best collection so far BUT.....
Ted Ison | East Coast USA | 04/08/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Before this release, we were stuck with the Milestone reissue on CD, which is left over from the early days of digital remastering. The noise is gone, but so is half of the music. Not good. Luckily, this collection came out a few years later. Certainly better than the Milestones, but still not a satisfying collection. This 2 disc set of all of the Oliver sides (including the extremely rare Autograph sessions with Jelly Roll Morton AND the one-of-a-kind "Zulus Ball" on Gennett) is a very exciting collection to own if you are interested in "having" them all. For listening pleasure, however, the set is rather inconsistent in its sound quality and in some cases difficult to listen to. I am a fan of the work of Mr. Davies (the mastering engineer) but in this case I think he missed the boat. The EQ is overly boosted in the bottom end, causing lots of unnatural resonances. Meanwhile, the high midrange (where the cornets are) is also overly boosted and sounds tinny, especially in my car. I've heard a few of these originals coming straight off of 78 RPM, and they sound nothing like this set. In the attempt to emphasize various sections of the band, I think overall clarity has been sacrificed. Volume from song to song also varies.

The whole project is put together rather sloppily as well. The track listing doesn't allow for the fact that this is a 2 CD set; Disc 2 starts with "track 21.." ??Even the discographical information is hard to comprehend; to find personnel on any given song, you have to go back to the first session and add and subtract members through each subsequent session.

My favorite reissue (if you can find it) is still the 1974 Herwin LP with all of the Gennett sides "untouched". An A-B comparison between the Herwin and Retrieval versions of the Gennett sides shows an instant and remarkable difference.

I hope one day someone will put out a complete set of the Creole Jazz Band sides with natural sounding transfers. I'd welcome a little noise if it would allow the glory of these recordings to be heard more fully.

UPDATE!! Since I posted this review, such a set has been released! King Oliver Off The Record: The Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings (Archeophone/Off The Record)is a tremendous improvement. It doesn't include the Morton Autographs; but I'm not sure they belong with the CJB sides anyway. Now I'm happy!
The best of the best!
wtb4 | walnut Creek, CA United States | 12/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This reissue of the classic recordings of King Oliver's group sounds great compared to other versions that have come out over the years. John R. T. Davies has restored many classic recordings over the years, but I believe that his work with these famous Oliver records is his crowning achievement. There is another excellent reissue to consider: Robert Parker's double-CD issue which Amazon lists as "1923 - 1930 Great Original Performances". The audio restoration on Parker's reissue is also outstanding, but it only includes a handful (nine?) of the classic 1922 sessions with Armstrong. In contrast, the Davies collection includes the complete 1923 sessions over 2 CD's. I happen to think that when music is this great, you'll want to hear all of it - a sampling just won't suffice. The limitations of these performances have been noted over the years (e.g., the trombonist's playing is rather rough-hewn). But these performers, always playing with great poise and restraint, achieved a tremendous sense of dignity in their ensemble playing. And the cornet solos (by Oliver and Louis Armstrong) and especially the interplay between these two horn players make for some of the best listening in all of recorded music. Not all of the tracks rise to the level of great songs like Mabel's Dream and Dippermouth Blues, but everything on these discs is well worth hearing, and treasuring. Along with the newly-reissed Complete Set of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, this King Oliver issue is the only truly essential jazz prior to 1925."
Rediscovering A Legend
Peter Acebal | Christiansburg, VA United States | 12/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This superlative set allows us the pleasure of actually hearing Jazz take its early steps;while not to fault Louis Armstrong's own greatness That came later on not in 1923;King Oliver has been one of the most criminally neglected artists in jazz history,and this marvelous release will no doubt force the jazz writers to reconsider,-whether 'Zulu's Ball' or 'High Society Rag',Oliver's capacity for collective improvisation drove these wonderful records.And now with the wonder of CD Technology,we can preserve Oliver's artistry in the new millenium, let us not make the mistake of ignoring Oliver like we did last century! Oliver is HERE so deal with it,skeptics and jazz lovers - REJOICE!"