Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Complete Jazz At The Philharmonic On Verve: 1944-1949
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Ever wonder what a 1940s-era jam session sounded like? Well, not much gets closer to the real thing than the music on these 10 CDs. Norman Granz, founder of the Norgran and Clef labels before launching Verve in the mid-195... more »
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Ever wonder what a 1940s-era jam session sounded like? Well, not much gets closer to the real thing than the music on these 10 CDs. Norman Granz, founder of the Norgran and Clef labels before launching Verve in the mid-1950s, brought together dozens of musicians for the popular Jazz at the Philharmonic series, taking the ad hoc bands to delighted crowds. The bands cook, taking on scores of well-known tunes and using them as the basis for loose-limbed improvisations that play off the crowd's energy--often audible after solos. With a frequent audio vérité feel to the proceedings, this set moves through all-star sessions galore. The opening session features J.J. Johnson, Illinois Jacquet, Les Paul, and Nat "King" Cole, and one of the later sessions plays Charlie Parker off Lester Young, Flip Phillips, and Roy Eldridge in heated (though always fun) exchanges. Not surprisingly, great moments crop up amid some faltering jams, places where saxophonists stumble through phrases in high spirits to find a vocalist or another soloist already cutting in on the developments. Billie Holiday does a fine turn on "Fine and Mellow" with a supertrio of tenor saxes, including Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Illinois Jacquet. A running thread throughout the 12-plus hours of music is the crosshatching of bebop and swing, which here work together in excited displays of expertise and imagination. The musical detail on this issue is especially welcome, given the recording ban that complicated the documentation of the bebop revolution in its earliest days. Oh, and nearly all this music is on CD for the first time, and for that reason (and others), the set is a full-on winner. --Andrew Bartlett
Relive the excitement of the All Star concerts!
Lonson E. Armstrong | Austin, TX United States | 12/23/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This voluminous set reissues all the remaining recordings of the Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts produced by Norman Granz during the period 1944 to 1949.There are previously issued and previously unissued performances here. Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Illinois Jacquett are heavily featured on tenor sax. Also making many appearances are the lesser known Howard McGhee and Kenny Kersey. Many other 'forties jazz stars are present, including Les Paul, Meade Lux Lewis, Charlie Parker, J. J. Johnson, Buck Clayton, Roy Eldridge and Mel Powell. Sure the JATP became formulaic over time, but those performance captured here are exciting and stimulating. I especially enjoy the unissued sides by Lester Young here, and the many appearances on drums of his lesser-known brother, Lee Young. The sound is excellently remastered. A few selections are from very poor source material, but overall the sound is dynamic and vivid. The lengthy booklet is informative and fun. And have you ever seen a box set that came with a minature sidewalk marquee before? Do you think you will again?"
Just as I remember
The Professor Dave | Cleveland, OH United States | 04/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One thing about being old is that you've had a chance to hear the "live concert" when it WAS live. I went to several of JAP's concerts, saw Ella, Lester, and so many in the "Hall of Fame" that SHOULD be. This was music that bridged dixieland (my favorite) and modern (Ugh). This set is unique--it has the timing faults of live real jazz (not off sheet music). One thing is FOR SURE, there is ABSOUTELY NOTHING ELSE LIKE IT. So, don't try to like everything, only the ignorant do, just glory in MOST of it, because if you really care that much recut it. Just GET IT, not as I failed to do the first time out and though I'd lost a chance forever--thank you God for giving me a second chance!"
Comprehensive, and a good representation of 1940's Jazz
Brother Hamza | the Midwest | 01/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to thank my father for introducing me to Jazz when I was 5 or 6 years. He got my interest by playing some of the recordings that are contained in this CD box set. Included are the classic volumes that were originally released on labels such as Norgran and Clef. Also included are unreleased concerts, and although the recording quality sometimes suffers, those concerts are still quite enjoyable. From the very beginning, Norman Granz always hired the brightest of Jazz stars for his concerts. Some reviewers in past years have complained that, by mixing swing musicians and boppers, sometimes the chemistry suffers. But when one listens, for example, to the 1949 Carnegie Hall concert, even when trombonist Tommy Turk is followed by Charlie "Bird" Parker, or when bebop trumpeter Howard McGhee is sandwiched between the cooking (as illustrated by a stove on an original David Stone Martin album cover included in the box) tenor saxes of Flip Phillips and Illinois Jacquet at the 1947 Carnegie Hall session, nothing seems out of place. In fact, the riffing brings the temperature up a few more degrees. Speaking of the 1947 Carnegie Hall set, we heard "Perdido" and "Mordido" on the VSP (Verve Special Products) cutout label in the middle 1960's. Another album in the VSP series had "I Can't Get Started" along with the 1947 versions of "How High the Moon" and "Bellboy Blues". Since we only had a few of the VSP albums, I didn't even know about "Endido" until I had a conversation with another collector in the middle 70's. I had to wait until the release of this box set to finally hear Endido, over 20 years later. I'm certain my experience is not unique, so the release of this box set will help others who have been searching for their favorite JATP set.Included in the box is a book with photos, lists of concert dates, and notes about these recordings. At first, I thought this box set was a bit pricey (for 10 CDs), but afterwards I realized the box set is well worth the almost-$200 list price. For those who are more casual fans of Norman Granz' JATP, one might purchase instead the "Best of" CD "sampler" which contains selections from the box, including favorites such as the 1947 "Perdido", 1946 "Philharmonic Blues", the 1946 "Oh, Lady Be Good" with the classic Bird solo, and Ella Fitgerald and the JATP All-Stars on the 1949 "Flying Home", along with other selections. Some of the concerts (such as the 1944 sets with Nat King Cole, Les Paul, J. J. Johnson and Illinois Jacquet) are available for purchase separately. And, like the back cover of the classic albums declared, "produced under the personnel supervision of Norman Granz", so you know you won't be disappointed!"