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Complete Studio Recordings
Artist: Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach Quintet
Label: Essential Jazz Classics
Time 14 tracks/79:49 minutes
This CD reissue contains the albums Clifford Brown and Max Roach At Basin Street and Sonny Rollins Plus Four in their entirety. The difficulty with reviewing a CD like this is that one does not review the music (both of these albums are veritable five-star Jazz classics) but instead the quality of the package.
The sound quality is excellent featuring clearly remastered audio. Unfortunately the liner notes don’t list who is responsible for this. The person deserves credit as the sound is great. From there this reissue goes down hill fast. Featuring no new liner notes, and few new pictures, it feels slapped together.
The track listing is also misleading. Since this is primarily marketed as a Clifford Brown collection, the track “Count Your Blessings” is labeled as a bonus track as it does not feature him. It is of course, not a bonus track at all as it was featured on the original release of Sonny Rollins Plus Four.
The worst offender is that the label decided to change the order of all the tracks on both records! Why? Jazz albums are often meticulously ordered for the best possible listening experience. Not to mention fans who are familiar with the original albums will be confused by the different running order. How hard would it have been to leave it as is?
That is the final nail in the coffin for me. Both these albums have been reissued in prior in far better editions that actually feature bonus outtakes from the sessions. The music is excellent on this disc, but I cannot recommend this edition to anyone other than the supremely budget conscious.
Noah Salo
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