This four-LP set, which is now also available as a three-CD box, is easily the definitive Fletcher Henderson package. Between 1923-38, Henderson's orchestra was one of the finest swing bands in the world, and during 1923-27 (until Duke Ellington's emergence) it was the first and the best. The arrangements of Don Redman in the early days set the pace for jazz; Benny Carter and Horace Henderson also wrote some important charts before Henderson himself finally developed into a major arranger in 1932. This Columbia set is not complete, but it includes 64 selections, at least 60 of them gems. This essential box (which contains three wonderful versions of "King Porter Stomp") belongs in everyone's jazz collection.
We have combined in two volumes the splendid recordings made by Louis Armstrong during his employment as a sideman in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. Obviously, and with immense satisfaction, we omitted all those sides in which, although Louis is present, he doesn't perform as a soloist , so boring and tedious were Mr Henderson's routines in those days. ~ from Linear Notes
Thirteen hours of unreleased and ultra-rare music. The Eternal Myth Revealed is a 14 disc docu-biography of Ra's life and career, from his birth in 1914 up to 1959. In addition to his own music, it includes music he was influenced by, and a lot of stuff he may or may not have had a hand in as arranger, vocal coach, pianist or something else. Sun Ra's output was as prolific as Ellington's, and discographers have had nightmares and arguments attempting to document it accurately.
This CD contains the best recordings from the early years of the fiery trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Eldridge, one of the great swing trumpeters and a powerful player into the 1970s, is heard with Teddy Hill's orchestra, backing singer Putney Dandridge, on four titles with Fletcher Henderson (including the hit "Christopher Columbus"), starring on a four-song session with Teddy Wilson, joining Billie Holiday on "Falling in Love Again," soloing on two numbers with Mildred Bailey (his "I'm Nobody's Baby" solo is years ahead of its time), and, best of all, leading a small group through six songs (plus an alternate) from his own explosive sessions of January 1937. This brilliant music is essential for all serious jazz collections.
Each box contains 25 slipcase CDs, a booklet (up to 186 pages) and an index. The booklets contain extensive notes (Eng/Fr) with recording dates and line-ups. 31 hours of music in each box, totalling 1677 tracks Each track has been restored and mastered from original sources. The only reason I can think of for there not yet being a review of these four boxed sets, is that those who own them are just too busy having one hell of a blast listening to them. Some people moan about the 50 year copyright law for audio recordings in Europe, but without it this highly entertaining, eye-opening and educational undertaking could never have taken place. These 100 discs (spread over four boxed sets of 25 discs) tell the story of jazz from 1898 to 1959.