Yesterday we reported on eight new box sets drawn from the Columbia and RCA Victor archives and available through Sony’s PopMarket site. While those titles dedicated to Earth Wind & Fire, Electric Light Orchestra, Leonard Cohen, Paul Desmond, Dexter Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, Woody Shaw and Nina Simone are all currently available or due for release shortly, another batch is already on the schedule for November.
On November 11, Legacy Recordings opens the vaults to the rich legacy of jazz at Columbia Records , offering the following new releases:
- The Dave Brubeck Quartet, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection;
- Billie Holiday, Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933-1944;
- Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection; and
- Weather Report, The Jaco Years: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection.
Hit the jump for details on what’s included in each set!
What can one say about Dave Brubeck? The jazz pianist and composer, still active at the age of 90, has been feted with major accolades from a Kennedy Center Honor and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was responsible for one of the biggest-selling jazz albums of all time, 1959’s immortal Time Out, which introduced Paul Desmond’s “Take Five.” The Quartet followed Time Out with “sequel” albums built around the concept of time, and musical time signatures, including Countdown: Time in Outer Space, Time Further Out, Time Changes and Time In. All of those albums and more are included in The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection for The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Its 19 discs open with 1955’s Brubeck Time and conclude with 1966’s Plays Cole Porter – Anything Goes. As the title attests, this box does not include everything recorded by Brubeck at Columbia during his long association with the label, presenting only the studio albums of the Quartet. (Live albums and solo albums have naturally been excluded.) This box not only restores a number of out-of-print titles back to catalogue but also introduces a number of the Quartet’s albums to American CD. It makes a grand monument to one of jazz’s piano pioneers.
Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933-1944 is a reconfiguration of Legacy’s highly acclaimed 2001 box set. Its 10 discs are a virtual history of American popular song, containing Holiday’s Columbia (and related label) masters in chronological order along with alternate takes, soundtrack recordings, live radio performances and more. Though redesigned, Lady Day will share the exact same audio contents as the original edition. One of Frank Sinatra’s favorite singers, Holiday tragically died in 1959, amid legal troubles and drug-related woes. One year before her death, Sinatra told Ebony, “It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me. Lady Day is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years.” Her influence still remains.
The Complete Collections then jump ahead to the 1970s, spotlighting two legendary fusion groups. The Complete Columbia Albums Collection from Mahavishnu Orchestra includes four albums (on five CDs) by the legendary unit led by guitar guru John McLaughlin. These include the 1973 Lost Trident Sessions which didn’t see release until 1999. This box only contains the recordings from the first iteration of the band (1971-1973) with McLaughlin, Billy Cobham on drums, Jan Hammer on keyboards, Jerry Goodman on violin and Rick Laird on bass guitar. McLaughlin and Cobham met while working with Miles Davis on Davis’ Bitches Brew sessions, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra took fusion to new heights, combining a high-powered electric rock sound with funk, world, classical and jazz influences. After the original group split, McLaughlin reformed the Orchestra with new personnel for 1974’s Apocalypse. This box contains just The Inner Mounting Flame (1971), Birds of Fire (1973), The Lost Trident Sessions (1973), Between Nothingness And Eternity (1974), and the bonus disc Between Nothingness And Eternity (Disc 2).
Like the Mahavishnu Orchestra collection, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection for Weather Report focuses on just one period of the group’s lengthy career, The Jaco Years. Electric bassist Jaco Pastorius (1951-1987) joined Weather Report to play on two tracks on 1976’s Black Market, where this box set begins. Pastorius “graduated” to become a full member with 1977’s Heavy Weather, joining Wayne Shorter (soprano saxophone), Joe Zawinul (pianos/synthesizers), and Alex Acuna (drums/congas/tom-toms), and Manolo Badrena (tambourine/congas/timbales/percussion) on the LP. Pastorius’ dynamic presence contributed to Weather Report’s becoming one of the most acclaimed fusion bands of all time, frequently mentioned in the same breath as Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, and The Pat Metheny Group. The set draws to a close with the sixth album included, 1982’s Weather Report, the final album with both Pastorius and drummer Peter Erskine (who first appeared with the group on 1978’s Mr. Gone and became a full member shortly thereafter).
When information on bonus tracks and additional content is available, we’ll be sure to report back. These four titles will all arrive via PopMarket on November 22!
The Dave Brubeck Quartet, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection (Available 11/22)
- Brubeck Time
- Jazz Impressions of the U.S.A.
- Jazz Impressions of Eurasia
- Dave Digs Disney
- Gone With The Wind
- Time Out!
- Southern Scene
- Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein
- Time Further Out
- Countdown: Time In Outer Space
- Bossa Nova U.S.A.
- Brandenburg Gate: Revisited
- Time Changes
- Jazz Impressions of Japan
- Jazz Impressions of New York
- Angel Eyes
- My Favorite Things
- Time In
- Plays Cole Porter – Anything Goes!
Billie Holiday, Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933-1944 (Available 11/22)
- 1941-1942, plus bonus material (1935-1937)
- Bonus Material (1937-1938)
- Bonus Material (1938-1940)
- Bonus Material (1940-1944)
Discs 1-6 and Disc 7, Tracks 1-14 present the master takes in chronological order of recording. The balance of Disc 7, as well as Discs 8-10, presents alternate takes and miscellany including soundtrack recordings, radio broadcast airchecks and V-discs. This set was previously released as Columbia/Legacy CXK 85470 in 2001.
Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Available 11/22)
- The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
- Birds Of Fire (1973)
- The Lost Trident Sessions (1973)
- Between Nothingness and Eternity (1974)
- Bonus Disc: Between Nothingness And Eternity [Disc 2]
Weather Report , The Jaco Years: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Available 11/22)
- Black Market (1976)
- Heavy Weather (1977)
- Mr. Gone (1978)
- 8:30 (1979)
- Night Passage (1980)
- Weather Report (1982)