Although undoubtedly an expensive acquisition, this ten-CD set is perfectly done and contains dozens of gems. The remarkable but short-lived trumpeter Clifford Brown has the second half of his career fully documented (other than his final performance) and he is showcased in a wide variety of settings. The bulk of the numbers are of Brownie's quintet with co-leader and drummer Max Roach, either Harold Land or Sonny Rollins on tenor, pianist Richie Powell, and bassist George Morrow (including some previously unheard alternate takes), but there is also much more.
Interplay, Prestige Records' new 5-CD set, containing early collaborative recordings of the peerless tenor saxophonist and visionary John Coltrane, serves two distinct purposes. The first is to offer an extraordinary collection of music that provides an excellent overview of the modern jazz scene during the fertile 1956-1958 period. The other - and arguably more important purpose to the legions of Coltrane faithful - is its rich delineation of the evolutionary process behind one of the most profoundly important and emotionally compelling artists this planet has ever seen.
In 1956, Jonah Jones started to become an unlikely commercial success. A veteran swing trumpeter not known to the general public despite being an exciting player, Jones caught on playing frequently muted solos with a quartet at the Embers in New York. His music often featured a shuffle rhythm and mixed Dixieland, swing and show tunes. This first recording by the quartet (also including pianist George Rhodes, bassist John Browne and drummer Harold Austin) was popular, although it would soon be dwarfed by Jones' successes for Capitol. Highlights of the date, which was also released by Groove and Victor, include "It's All Right With Me," "All of You," "High Society" and "At Sundown."