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Various Artists: Classic Capitol Jazz Sessions

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Departing from its customary practice of presenting complete sets of single artists or bands, Mosaic here brings to light 65 sessions recorded for Capitol by various groups of jazzmen between 1942 and 1953, their major connecting factor being that, for the most part, they have not been available since their initial appearance on 78s, EPs, and 10-inch LPs. Additionally, among the 254 tracks included there are 46 that have never been issued in any form, some being alternate takes and others being wholly new performances. Mosaic has already issued complete sets of Capitol recordings by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, the Nat King Cole Trio, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Jack Teagarden, the Benny Goodman Small Groups and the George Shearing Sextet, so selections from these are not duplicated here. Also omitted for reasons of space are the many sessions by Red Nichols, Billy Butterfield, Woody Herman, Charlie Barnet, Art Tatum, Julia Lee, Peggy Lee and Pete Dailey, as well as others of smaller output, such as those by Coleman Hawkins, Lennie Tristano, and Miles Davis. Some of these are available on single Capitol CDs, while others may yet appear on Mosaic.

In another departure from tradition, rather than following a strictly chronological order in the presentation of these sessions, Mosaic has arranged them more or less according to commonality of style. However, chronological sequencing is adhered to within the space allotted each individual artist or recording group, i.e., the 12 Nappy Lamare tracks recorded between 1945 and 1950 are programmed in their entirety before moving on to Wingy Manone’s first date in 1944. This is a perfectly logical way of handling the wide variety of styles and instrumentations heard on these heterogeneous sessions, and, rather than jolting the listening experience by sudden stylistic leaps, it actually enhances it.

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