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New York, U.S.A. — The ultimate year-round jazz festival from Legacy Recordings continues to set a new industry standard with three new Complete Album Collections from the Sony Music archives family of labels, by the greatest names in modern jazz:
Newly assembled and affordably priced, this latest wave of titles will be available at the PopMarket.com website as well as at all general retail starting August 28th through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
These three new entries follow up the first 19 box sets in the series, released through PopMarket.com in 2011 – 2012. The previous titles focused on the careers of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Stanley Clarke, Miles Davis (2009), George Duke, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Billie Holiday, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Return To Forever, Woody Shaw, Wayne Shorter, Grover Washington Jr., Weather Report 197-1975 and Weather Report 1971-1975 (all on Columbia/Legacy); and Paul Desmond and Nina Simone (on RCA/Legacy).
As the dominant jazz record label for most of the 20th century, Columbia was home to a myriad of leading figures during the LP era, and into the digital age. Each multi-disc box set contains the artist’s entire album output during their original label tenure (Columbia, Epic, RCA, Arista, and so on), or focuses on some aspect of their output. Each album is packaged in a replica mini-LP sleeve reproducing that LP’s original front and back cover artwork.
Where applicable, the albums in each box include the bonus tracks that have been released on the various Legacy expanded CD editions over the years. Booklets are included with each box set, containing new liner notes essays and complete discographical information, including any bonus material.
For example, The Complete Private Music Blues, Rock N’ Roll Soul Albums Collection from Etta James digs into the archive for its bonus disc, a live session recorded in San Francisco in 1981, and issued on Private Music in 1994. Previous box sets on Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, Woody Shaw, and Weather Report have all included bonus discs of non-album music, most of which was previously unreleased.
The box sets in the Complete Album Collections series have been produced by Grammy Award-nominated Legacy producers Richard Seidel, Michael Cuscuna, Michael Brooks, Didier Deutsch and Bob Belden. All packaging has been supervised by Grammy Award-winning former Legacy Vice President of Jazz Marketing Seth Rothstein, and art directed by award-winning designer Edward ODowd, who has worked on more than 150 CD packages in various genres.
Virtually all of the CDs in these box sets have been remastered by Sony Senior Mastering Engineer Mark Wilder. He has received seven Grammy Award nominations and 3 Grammy Awards in his nearly 25 years at Sony. All of the jazz CDs in the Complete Album Collections are produced from the most up-to-date and best-sounding masters available.
The new titles in the series are as follows:
The Brecker Brothers – The Complete Arista Albums Collection (Arista/Legacy)
Arista Records established itself as a quintessential New York label in January 1975, just a few months after going into business, when Clive Davis added one of the city’s most important homegrown jazz partnerships to the roster, starring Randy Brecker on trumpet (b. 1945) and Michael Brecker on tenor saxophone (1949-2007). The brothers were raised outside Philadelphia and attended Indiana University before settling in New York to make their way as journeymen on the jazz circuit.
Individually, Randy came to prominence on the first Blood Sweat & Tears LP on Columbia, Child Is Father To the Man (1967), then left the next year to pursue session work. Randy’s next major band was Dreams (on Columbia in 1970-71, featuring Billy Cobham and Will Lee), where he and Michael comprised the horn section with trombonist Barry Rogers. After a stint in Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House, Randy was finally rejoined by Michael for the Brecker Brothers, which became a New York dynasty over the course of five solid studio LPs and one live album (Heavy Metal Be-Bop) at Arista between 1975 and 1981.
Brecker Brothers LPs strode the line between hard jazz and more commercial nods to rock, funk, Latin, and (occasionally) disco beats. Lineups were flexible over the years, including (at various times) guitarists Bob Mann, Steve Khan, Barry Finnerty, David Spinozza, and Hiram Bullock; bassmen Will Lee, Neil Jason, Marcus Miller, and Tony Levin; keyboardist Don Grolnick; and drummers Harvey Mason, Chris Parker, Steve Gadd, and Steve Jordan.
In person, the Brecker Brothers Band simply could not be beat, as heard on the Blue Montreux and Blue Montreux II festival recordings (of 1978, released ’79), “featuring a group of friends that was an offshoot of both the Brecker Bros. Band and Mike Mainieri’s White Elephant,” as Randy notes in his brief introduction to the package. “Those were productive years,” he continues.
“We were playing on hundreds of sessions, plus doing our own thing… I think it influenced many who came after us, and much of this music is still relevant today. We lost Michael in January of 2007 but I know he would have been thrilled by this release. During this period he developed his style, which became emulated by thousands of other saxophonists.”
1. The Brecker Brothers (Arista AL 4037, 1975)
2. Back to Back (Arista AL 4061, 1976)
3. Don’t Stop the Music (Arista AL 4122, 1977)
4. Heavy Metal Be-Bop (Arista AB 4185, 1978)
5. Detente (Arista AB 4272, 1980)
6. Straphangin’ (Arista AL 9550, 1981)
7. Blue Montreux (Arista AB 4224, 1979)
8. Blue Montreux II (Arista AB 4245, 1979)
Descriptions of Etta James – The Complete Private Music Blues, Rock N’ Roll Soul Albums Collection and Sarah Vaughan – The Complete Columbia Albums Collection can be found in Part 2.
Image Courtesy of http://www.randybrecker.com/