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Mosaic Releases Mulligan, Chamber, Patton, More

So many Mosaic Records box sets come out every year-when will the label run out of vaults to raid? Let’s just hope that never happens, as a few recent and upcoming Mosaic boxes promise to be some of the label’s best, and its newborn imprint, Mosaic Select, has given us a less expensive way to cop a piece of sweet Mosaic action.

The latest box from every completist’s favorite label isn’t as sprawling as some of its past collections, but the four-disc The Complete Verve Gerry Mulligan Concert Band Sessions shouldn’t disappoint anyone as it documents the entire recorded work of what many consider to be one of jazz’s most unique bands.

Mulligan’s Concert Band came together in 1960 with the help of trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, who played in the band and for all intents and purposes served as its co-leader. Searching for band that could create the harmonically rich, yet not-too-heavy sound he heard in his head, Mulligan enlisted players like Clark Terry, Conte Candoli, Willie Dennis, Gene Quill, Zoot Sims, Bill Crow and Mel Lewis to fill out the band’s 13-slot roster. With five reeds, six brass, bass and drums, the group was four men larger than the last famous big band Mulligan had done arrangements for, Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool nonet. And together they were great at what Mulligan wanted them to be great at: playing the intricacies of the charts he supplied but also maintaining a sense of spontaneity that allowed them to create music in the moment. You know, jazz.
The Complete Verve Gerry Mulligan Concert Band Sessions, contains all the tracks on the band’s five Verve albums, plus 11 unissued recordings (click here for a full track list). Everything’s been remixed and remastered (in 24-bit), from the original master tapes. The box is available now, but, and they make us say this: “All recordings are available solely through Mosaic Records, 35 Melrose Place, Stamford, CT 06902; (203) 327-7111. Please check their website at for more information.”

In addition to the Mulligan set, Mosaic has two new collections available in their less expensive, less exhaustive Mosaic Select series, one by bassist Paul Chambers and one by organist John Patton.

The Chambers set contains tunes from his Blue Note period featuring players like John Coltrane, Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell and Philly Joe Jones. Albums such as Chambers’ Music, High Step and Bass on Top are represented in the three-CD collection and a number of cuts originally issued on compilation LPs are also included. Click here for a full track list.

Mosaic Select’s John Patton set contains the first three Patton albums for Blue Note, Along Came John, The Way I Feel and Oh Baby. Guitarist Grant Green and drummer Ben Dixon-masters of the Blue Note groove-style of the time-rounded out the rhythm section on these three albums. Also included in the set are tracks from That Certain Feeling and Understanding featuring drummer Clifford Jarvis, guitarist Jimmy Ponder and others. Click here for a full track list.

Also in store for Mosaic junkies is the November 24 release of the seven-CD The Complete Verve Roy Eldridge Studio Sessions. And Mosaic Select sets collecting tracks by saxophonist Curtis Amy and pianist Duke Pearson are coming soon as well.

Originally Published