CD Recommendation: The Keynote Box

The Keynote Jazz Collection 1941-1947 (Fresh Sound)

Keynote setThe Keynote records produced by Harry Lim trace jazz as it evolved from traditional through swing and bebop. The 11 CDs in the set begin in New Orleans with George Hartman’s trad band. By the time they end, the listener has spent time with a wide cross section of the decade’s best musicians, including Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Lennie Tristano, Red Rodney, Dinah Washington, Shorty Rogers, Sid Catlett, Dodo Marmarosa and dozens of others. Among the rarities: a 1945 Horace Henderson octet session and the Dave Lambert-Buddy Stewart bop vocalese recordings. The 124-page book with the discography and the story of Keynote is packed with photos. At last, we have all of the invaluable Keynote sides in a comprehensive, organized, beautifully produced box set. This is a major jazz event.

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    • Doug Ramsey says

      Thanks for the tip about Wallace. I am adding him to the Rifftides blogroll (right column, scroll down). Mr. Wallace subtitles his blog, “Jazz, baseball, life and other ephemera.” Who could resist? And he can write.

  1. Ted O'Reilly says

    Thanks for adding Steve Wallace to your list. As you say, he can write! Without the ego that many bloggers reveal, Steve puts himself in the middle of his posts, with humility, reality and the particular insight of a working musician. I’d suggest folks take a look at his ‘back catalogue’, too.

  2. says

    Well, I can proudly proclaim that I have the “real” thing: The Complete Keynote Collection (21 LPs) with a one-sided single with Lennie Tristano, added as an extra bonus (I would never sell this one) 😉

    Here are some of the LPs listed.

    The booklet with comprehensive notes by Dan Morgenstern is simply wonderful, and the other extra is a fantastic photo album.

    I don’t mind the alternate takes. It’s great to listen to Pres & Hawk at work.