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The Contemporary Records Story (4 CD Set) by Various Artists

Lester Koenig’s independent (yes there was indie music back in the 50s) Contemporary Records label was home to some of the brightest stars in jazz from 1952-1977. The roster was immense and very impressive. Luminaries such as Shelly Manne, Hampton Hawes, Victor Feldman, Art Pepper, and Ray Brown called the label home for many productive and wonderful years. To be sure, this label helped to shape jazz into what it is today.

The Contemporary Records Story is a handsomely bound book and placeholder for four amazing and eclectic CDs, including pictures of the album covers from where the tracks originally came from. What I enjoyed the most about this comprehensive set, was the mixture of different styles and ranges each featured artist had at their disposal. Koenig was able to bring out the best in this adventurous group of individuals.

Any jazz lover would treasure this collection as I do. Nearly every style of jazz you can imagine gets coverage within the 57 tracks found on this set. I listened several times with great joy to this music. Some box sets can become predictable and mundane by the time you spin the third disc, this is not the case here at all. There is something new and interesting to discover on every CD. This boxed set would be a great starter for those that want to learn more about jazz and the different styles within the genus, and not a bad stocking stuffer either for you late Christmas shoppers.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various Artists
  • CD Title: The Contemporary Records Story (4 CD Set)
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Contemporary Records
  • Tracks: Disc: 1 Big Girl - Howard Rumseys Lighthouse All-Stars Viva Zapata! [Live] - Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars You and the Night and the Music - Shelly Manne Lullaby of Birdland - Barney Kessel Bags' Groove - Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars Day by Day - Lennie Niehaus Flip - Shelly Manne Billie's Bounce - Shelly Manne Champ - Hampton Hawes Trio Blues the Most - Hampton Hawes Trio Blue Moon - Lyle Murphy Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas - Shelly Manne Ruby - Buddy Collette I Could Have Danced All Night - Shelly Manne Fifth for Frank - Curtis Counce Disc: 2 Serenade in Blue - Gerald Wiggins All the Things You Are - Art Pepper Star Eyes - Art Pepper Paying the Dues Blues - Red Norvo I'm an Old Cowhand - Sonny Rollins Jordu - The Poll Winners Scrapple From the Apple - Red Mitchell Old Fashioned Love - Benny Carter On the Sunny Side of the Street - Leroy Vinnegar Whisper Not - Benny Golson I Could Write a Book - André Previn & His Pals Grooveyard - Harold Land Serpent's Tooth - Victor Feldman Invisible - Ornette Coleman Disc: 3 Hip - Hampton Hawes Stablemates - Art Farmer African Violets - Cecil Taylor Quartet Autumn in New York - André Previn I've Told Ev'ry Little Star - Sonny Rollins Someone to Watch over Me - Benny Carter Bill Bailey - Helen Humes Peter Gunn - Shelly Manne Barfly - Elmo Hope Greensleeves - Bill Smith Airegin - Art Pepper Down Among the Sheltering Palms - Barney Kessel Blue Daniel - Shelly Manne Softly
  • Musicians: As in a Morning Sunrise - Art Pepper Sermon - Teddy Edwards Quarte Disc: 4 Stardust - Ben Webster Misty - Teddy Edwards Summertime - Howard McGhee Oleo - Phineas Newborn Exodus - Shelly Manne Deed for Dolphy - Woody Shaw My Funny Valentine - Art Farmer Morning - Hampton Hawes Will You Still Be Mine? - Art Farmer Beyond the Rain - Chico Free Over the Rainbow - Art Pepper'
  • Rating: Five Stars
Morrice Blackwell

Owner and publisher of, Morrice Blackwell is a christian husband dad jazz fan website developing marketing manager basketball playing engineer that lives for photography.

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