What a range of sessions are included!  Besides leading bands under his own name between 1933 and 1947, Hawkins is also heard as a sideman with various groups, a number of them all-star sessions in name or composition.    
    Naturally, Hawkins' immortal Body and Soul, recorded for Bluebird on October 11, 1939, is here, as well as The Day You Came Along, with Horace Henderson and John Kirby, in 1933; Passin' It Around on OKeh in 1940; and How Deep Is the Ocean, made for Signature in 1943.
    Other selections offer Hawkins among a virtual "who's-who" of swing musicians, such as Fletcher Henderson on Columbia from 1923 to 1934; McKinney's Cotton Pickers in 1929, including Benny Carter, Don Redman, and Fats Waller; a 1929 Mound City Blue Blowers session featuring Glenn Miller and Gene Krupa, and a 1931 Mound City Blue Blowers date with Muggsy Spanier and Jimmy Dorsey; Benny Goodman in 1934; a pair of Lionel Hampton dates from 1939; Benny Carter on Vocalion / OKeh in 1940; the 1941 Metronome All-Star Band with Cootie Williams, Harry James, Ziggy Elman, Tommy Dorsey, Tex Beneke, Buddy Rich, et. al; the swinging 9:20 Special by Count Basie's orchestra on OKeh that same year; and much, much more. 
    A booklet, with interesting photographs and Loren Schoenberg's thoughtful liner notes, helps, as usual, to increase the appreciation of the music.
    "The vast majority of his life was spent spreading joy through his intense and intricate music that he played with unfailing integrity," Schoenberg writes.  "As with all great jazz musicians, Hawkins explored and helped define the area where the best attributes of composition and improvisation intersect, and all of us remain eternally in his debt."
    According to an e-mail from Fred at Mosaic, "Additional tracks were recently located and the clearance for these tracks has taken much longer than anticipated."
    The set is now scheduled for release to the public in February 2012. 
Big Band Library rating: EXCELLENT

Louis Armstrong.  "The Complete Masters 1925-45," Universal .  14-CD set.
Charlie Barnet.  "At the Casa Manana," Sounds of YesterYear [ UK ] DSOY874.  Live
    performances from May 28 and June 2, 1944, transcribed for the Armed Forces Radio
    Service (AFRS) "One Night Stand" series.  Featuring six selections by Barnet's female
    vocalist, Kay Starr.
Duke Ellington.  "The Complete Orchestral Suites 1931-1960," United Archives [ UK ]
    NUA07.  5 CDs.
Dizzy Gillespie.  "Complete Big Band Studio Sessions 1946-1960," United Archives [ UK ]
    NUA06.  7-CDs including Musicraft, Victor, Capitol, Verve, and other sides.
Benny Goodman.  "AFRS Benny Goodman Show Volume 11," Sounds of YesterYear [ UK ]
    DSOY873.  Contains shows #27 and 28.
Ted Heath.  "Rare Transcription Recordings From the 1950s Volume 3: Believe in Me,"
    Vocalion [ UK ] CDEA 6190.  Cut in a BBC studio around the summer of 1956.
Guy Lombardo.  "Lombardo Country / Waltzing with Guy Lombardo," Vocalion [ UK ] CDLK
    4457.  = the Capitol LPs ST 2777 and ST 1738, respectively.
Paul Whiteman.  "Volume 5: 'Without a Song,' Vocalion [ UK ] CDEA 6193.  Recordings
    made during 1928-29.
Si Zentner.  "Swingin' Country / Desafinado," Vocalion [ UK ] CDLK 4463.  = the Liberty
    albums LST 7481 and LST 7273, respectively.
Various artists.  "The Best Years of Our Lives: The Most Popular Songs of 1942," Sounds of
    YesterYear [ UK ] DSOY872.  The first of a new series focused on specific years.
    Includes Miller, J. Dorsey, Kyser, Goodman, James, Spivak, Monroe, and Rey.
---.  "Guys Allowed: A Collection of Male Vocalists of the 50s, Highlighting the Rarities,"
    Jasmine [ UK ] 173.  2-CD set.  Includes Eckstine, Harris, Monroe, others.

    2012 will see the release of a new, 7-CD boxed collection, "The Complete Chick Webb & Ella Fitzgerald Decca Sessions 1929-1941, on Mosaic Records. 
    Webb and his tight band will be heard from their first records on Brunswick through all of the recordings for American Decca, up to his death in 1939, including such classics as Harlem Congo, Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away), and Who Ya Hunchin'?.  Under Edgar Sampson's or Teddy McRae's leadership, the band was then headlined by vocalist Fitzgerald into 1941.
    The set's booklet will feature rare photographs and commentary by John McDonough.
the big bands are back
in a new and exciting way
compiled by Music Librarian CHRISTOPHER POPA
    Mosaic Records has done it again, with the planned release of an 8-CD box, "Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947" (Mosaic MD8-251), giving all of us the opportunity to hear Hawkins' marvelous improvisations on 190 selections (12 of them previously-unreleased), mostly in great sound.
    "We took loving care with this project," it was stated in a Mosaic press release, "believing it may be the last time some of it will ever be available."   
© 2011 Mosaic Records
Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra directed by Bill Tole.  Dec. 4, State Theater, New Brunswick, NJ;
    Dec. 6, Dreyfoos Hall, West Palm Beach, FL; Dec. 7, Kings Point Borini Theater, Sun
    City, FL; Dec. 9, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC; Dec. 13, United Methodist
    Church, Englewood, FL; Dec. 15, Willow Valley Retirement, Lancaster, PA.
Jan Garber Orchestra directed by Howard Schneider.  Dec. 31, Abbey, Lake Geneva, WI.
Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke.  Dec. 4, Long Beach, CA; Dec. 7,
    Seattle, WA; Dec. 10, private event [ location not specified ]; Dec. 14, Seattle, WA.
Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians directed by Al Pierson.  Dec. 11, Warner Theatre, Erie,
Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Gary Tole.  Dec. 2, Fukuoka Sun Palace hall, Fukuoka -
    Fukuoka, Japan; Dec. 3, Arcas Sasebo, Sasebo - Nagasaki, Japan; Dec. 4, Kumamoto
    Kenritsu Gekijyou Concert hall, Kumamoto - Kumamoto, Japan; Dec. 6, Izumi no mori
    hall, Izumisano - Osaka, Japan; Dec. 7, Mihama-cho Chuou kouminkan, Mihama - Mie,
    Japan; Dec. 8, Urayasu-shi Bunka Kaikan, Urayasu (Chiba), Japan; Dec. 9, Narita
    Kokusai Bunka kaikan, Narita - Chiba, Japan; Dec. 10, Kakogawa Shimin kaikan,
    Kakogawa - Hyougo, Japan; Dec. 11, Itami hall, Itami - Hyougo, Japan; Dec. 13,
    Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, Fairfield, IA; Dec. 16, Fulton City High School,
    Fulton City, KY; Dec. 17, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, Bloomington, IL.

Bob Brookmeyer, 81, d.Dec. 16, 2011.  Pianist with Beneke '52; McKinley '52; valve
    trombonist with Thornhill '52.
Clem DeRosa, 76, d.Dec. 20, 2011, cancer.  Drummer; conducted second unit of Glenn
    Miller Orchestra for specific occasions in '80s.
Barbara Lea, 82, d.Dec. 26, 2011, "complications of Alzheimer's disease."  Vocalist with
    Hackett; Goodman '85.
Dan Terry, 87, d.Dec. 27, 2011.  Trumpeter with Spanier '43; Dunham '48; Basie '54
    Carnegie Hall concert (The Teenager).

Don Sebesky, b.Dec. 10, 1937.  Trombonist with Covington '56; Ferguson '58-'59; and
    Kenton '59.  Arranger for Miller-DeFranco '67 [ In the Mod, Shangri-La, Gone with the
    Wind, A Stranger in Town, Release Me, 'Round Midnight ]. 
Clark Terry, b.Dec. 14, 1920.  Trumpeter with Hampton '45; Barnet '47-'48 / '58 Everest
    "Cherokee" LP / '66-'67; Basie '48-'51 / '76 Pablo "Basie Jam" LP; and Ellington
Abbe Lane, b.Dec. 16, 1932.  Singer with Cugat '50s and actress. 
Tony Martin, b.Dec. 25, 1913.  Vocalist with Noble '38; and Miller AAF '43.

    After being featured as vocalist with Bob Crosby and His Orchestra and Les Brown and His Band of Renown, Doris Day went on to record 600 songs as a soloist, including 29 albums, and to appear in 39 films.
    She received various prestigious awards, such as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for her singing and a Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures.
    In September of this year, Day became the oldest artist to score a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom with "My Heart," a CD containing some previously-unreleased material done in the 1980s, such as You Are So Beautiful and Disney Girls.
    Now, at age 87, she's about to be honored again. 
    On the 11th of this month, she will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).
    Congratulations, Doris!

Derek Ansell.  "Michael Cuscuna: The producer," Jazz Journal, Volume 64 No.12 / Dec.
    2011, p.9.  Cuscuna, the co-founder of Mosaic Records, says that his "desert island"
    list of music is very small, including "Big bands: Count Basie, Count Basie, and as a
    close third, Count Basie."
Tony Eaton.  "News Review," [ The International  Glenn Miller Society ] Moonlight Serenader,
    Number 332 / 3rd Edition 2011, p.1+.  Eaton discusses the copyright extension to
    take effect in 2013.  While at the present time, sound recordings made prior to 1961
    are out of copyright in the UK and able to be issued by independent producers, the new
    European Union Directive will, in two years' time, move that cut-off date back to 1943. 
---.  "On Release," [ The International  Glenn Miller Society ] Moonlight Serenader,
    Number 332 / 3rd Edition 2011, p.7+.  Eaton gives positive reviews to recent CDs by
    Tex Beneke and Glenn Miller on the Sounds of YesterYear label.
Alan Luff.  "Anec-dotage," Jazz Journal, Volume 64 No.12 / Dec. 2011, p.40.  Luff
    discusses Gene Krupa.
Roland Taylor.  "Miller's Mighty Service Band: The ensemble in focus," [ The International
    Glenn Miller Society ] Moonlight Serenader, Number 332 / 3rd Edition 2011, pp.2-6.
    Taylor's chronology of the Glenn Miller AAF band continues, now through Sept. 10,
---.  "Singer Beryl Davis Has Died Aged 87," [ The International Glenn Miller Society ]
    Moonlight Serenader, Number 332 / 3rd Edition 2011, p.1+.
Alan Timpson.  "The Miller Years as reported in Variety newspaper," [ The International
    Glenn Miller Society ] Moonlight Serenader, Number 332 / 3rd Edition 2011, pp.9-10. 
    Re-print of the first portion of in-depth research about Glenn Miller and his bands,
    beginning in 1937, by the late Alan Timpson.
Charles D. Verrall.  "1956: Ray McKinley in the Miller Mood," [ The International
    Glenn Miller Society ] Moonlight Serenader, Number 332 / 3rd Edition 2011, pp.11-12.
    Re-print of a review by Verrall of the August 18, 1956 appearance of the Miller Orchestra
    at the Sunnybrook Ballroom in Pottstown, PA.

    Dan Morgenstern, a prolific author of jazz articles and liner notes, and the Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University's Newark, NJ campus since 1976, has had a wonderful life and career since he moved to the U.S. in 1947.
    For example, he won Grammy Awards for "Best Album Notes" for "The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946)" (Mosaic, 2010); "Fats Waller: If You Got to Ask, You Ain't Got It!" (RCA / Bluebird, 2006); and "Louis Armstrong: Portrait of An Artist As a Young Man" (Columbia, 1994).
    But I remember quite well being fascinated long before that by Morgenstern's liner notes to "Artie Shaw Featuring Roy Eldridge" (RCA Victor Vintage Series, 1972), and even prior to that, admiring him for his work as Editor of Metronome (1961) and DownBeat (1964-1973).
    My brother, Jay, and I visited the Institute a number of years ago, and in 2006 I interviewed Morgenstern as part of my biographical sketch of Fats Waller for this website.
    Now age 82, Morgenstern has announced his retirement from the Institute of Jazz Studies, effective officially at the end of this month.
    "Checking out was not an easy decision," he admitted to friends, "but I want to do some serious writing, and some of those things people do when they have time, all of a sudden."
    With Morgenstern's departure, Vincent Pelote, the Institute's Sound Archivist and Head of Technical Services, will assume the reins.
    "I do not intend to disappear from the jazz scene but will be lurking in the underbrush," Morgenstern promised.
    You made a good and lasting impression on me, Dan, so thanks for everything!

    My review of a new, error-filled book about the big bands.

Feedback and Follow-Up
  Mosaic's Coleman Hawkins box has been further delayed until at least March 2012.
  According to a message from Mosaic,"As many of you know, the recording industry is in economic turmoil and the major labels in particular have slashed their staffs repeatedly over the past 12 years. That has caused a slowdown in almost every facet of what it is they do and that includes the legal clearance process to greenlight archival material for licensing purposes (to us in this case).
  Our Coleman Hawkins set, which has been ready to go for months in terms of both music and artwork, is a particularly thorny situation for clearance as it involves very old material from multiple labels. We are still awaiting clearance and our hope is that it will be cleared in the near future and we will have sets by March…But we also thought we'd have sets in time for the holiday season.
  Unfortunately we cannot finalize a release date as this kind of delay is completely out of our control and we can only be politely persistent in pushing the good-to-go signal. We apologize for this delay, but can assure you that this set will be well worth the wait!"

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    Music producer Alexander Jero wants to establish blu-ray discs as a viable medium to reissue original audio recordings by, among others, swing and jazz artists.  With his Surround Records label, he presents "best of" titles remastered in 7.1 surround sound.
    Big bands thus far released are Miller, Hines, Webb, Lunceford, Henderson, Redman, Barnet, Armstrong, Herman, G. Gray, T. Dorsey, Basie, Ellington, and Goodman.
    But the discs, which run anywhere from 78 to 326 minutes, are more expensive than conventional CDs.