Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One irritation about recorded jazz music

It happened again.

A while back, I ordered Clifford Brown's complete Blue Note recordings (4-CD set) back to back with Art Blakey's Birdland Volume 1. I was very annoyed to learn that the Art Blakey CD was part of the Clifford Brown set. A close reading of my Penguin Jazz Recordings guide probably would have given me a clue along those lines, but it is questionable that I would have been able to put two and two together that fast.

Well, back before I even started liking jazz, at the suggestion of the Wall Street Journal, I picked up a couple from their short list of "must buy" jazz CD's from an article they did, one of which was Thelonious Monk Live at the Five Spot. It is a great CD and I got a lot of play out of it, but again, I was still annoyed that it is one of the four CD's included in Thelonious Monk Complete, which I purchased last week. This duplication of CD's probably couldn't really have been avoided, since I've had the first CD for so long, and actually, Penguin told me that there would be that duplication, but wanting the Monk and having found a bargain, I just bought it. I figured I could resell the Live CD, but it's going for like $1.98 used on Amazon, which doesn't really make it worth the effort. Better just to have a "more full" collection for that price. Besides, for some odd reason, the songs are in a different order, which I can't figure out why if it was a live recording, so there is that one minor difference.

I'm finding, though, that this is one of the biggest drawbacks of jazz music. In the pop world, artists and recording companies often re-issue stuff and repackage songs, but when they do, they usually add tracks or re-mix the song, or something. They don't just throw a disc into a different jacket and sell it to you. In jazz, though, it seems like there is a lot of that. You run into a lot of trouble with that, too, because guys like Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, McCoy Tyner, to name just a few, played all over and with everybody. It's just too easy for the average jazz fan to get crossed up.

I guess the only thing to do is make friends and trade duplicate CD's when one inevitably gathers a few.

Just the same, I would prefer it didn't happen again.

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