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Mosaic to Release Johnny Richards, Freddie Slack Sets

Mosaic announced the release of two boxed sets earlier this week, one featuring the work of Johnny Richards and the other featuring Freddie Slack. Both are limited editions of 5,000 copies so grab ’em while they’re hot. You know, like you do Krispy Kremes.

While Richards is best known for his work arranging and composing for Stan Kenton, he was also prolific at film scoring, a trait no doubt learned as Victor Young’s assistant at Paramount Studios. During the 1940s, he eventually combined his taste for dissonance with his knowledge and passion for Latin rhythms – a byproduct of his Mexican heritage – into his own unique jazz sound.

Mosaic Select: Johnny Richards collects Richards’ work from the 1950s and ’60s onto six albums. The series begins with “Annotation of the Muses” for nonet from 1955 and continues with recordings from his 1957-1958 orchestra, including material from his albums Wide Range and Experiments in Sound, both originally released on Capitol, and The Rites of Diablo, originally released on Roulette. Richards later released My Fair Lady – My Way and Aqui Se Habla Espanol, both for Roulette. Throughout the six CDs, Richards features soloists including Gene Quill, Clifford Jordan, Seldon Powell, Burt Collins, Marvin Stamm and Hank Jones.

Mosaic Select: Freddie Slack features material from Slack’s career with Capitol during the 1930s, including “Cow Cow Boogie,” “Mister Five By Five,” “Rifette” and “The Gee Chi Love Song.” Sidemen and soloists featured on Slack’s compilation include T-Bone Walker, Remo Palmieri, Neal Hefti and Liza Morrow.

In addition, Mosaic Select: Freddie Slack includes the rare Ray McKinley Capitol session of July 1942. DownBeat and Metronome had originally hailed this band to be the next great swing band, but with the imminent arrival of World War II, many of its players were sent abroad and the band never gained much commercial success. Musicians on this disc include clarinetist Mahlon Clark, Brad Gowans and the drums and vocals of McKinley. Included are 17 previously unissued Slack sides and one unissued McKinley.

Both sets are available online at Mosaic’s website:

Originally Published