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  • 5 Classic Albums Plus - Vic Dickenson - Septet 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 / Mainstream Jazz
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5 Classic Albums Plus - Vic Dickenson - Septet 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 / Mainstream Jazz

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Audio CD, November 13, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Vic Dickenson Septet #1/#2/#3/#4/Mainstream Jazz-

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Avid Records
  • ASIN: B009RQZKRG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,312 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barry McCanna on November 25, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The four Septet albums were recorded in December 1953 (Volumes 1 & 2) and November 1954 (Volumes 3 & 4) and released originally on four somewhat sparse 10" LPs. Subsequently they were reissued on a Vanguard 2-CD set, whereas Avid has accommodated all but one of the twelve tracks on the first CD. The twelfth kicks off the second CD, and is followed by just two tracks recorded in August 1958 by Vic Dickenson's All Star Jazz Group from the Atlantic album, "Mainstream" (the remainder of which comprised recordings by the Joe Thomas Group). We then hear four September 1946 singles recordings by Louis Armstrong & his Hot Seven, then fast forward to late 1959 and the RCA Victor album "Mainstream Jazz" (which is in stereo) for three tracks by The Mainstream Sextet, and one by a 14-piece big band directed by Andy Gibson. The second CD concludes with three singles featuring vocalist Scatman Crothers recorded in February 1948.

The earlier Septet date features Ruby Braff on trumpet, Edmond Hall on clarinet, Sir Charles Thompson on piano, Steve Jordan on guitar, Walter Page on bass and Les Erksine on drums. For the later date, Braff was replaced by Shad Collins (but guested on two numbers) and Erskine by Jo Jones. Les Erskine was extremely capable, but the rhythm section notched up a gear with the pairing of Walter Page and Jo Jones. None of the numbers was less than four-and-a-half minutes in length, and half of them exceed eight minutes. Thus there is a relaxed feel to the sessions, in which every player has the opportunity to improvise in his own good time, without ever diverting from the overall swing. These albums were very well received at the time, and their reappearance is most welcome.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ABH457 on February 1, 2015
Format: Audio CD
Well, I first heard these superlative tracks on vinyl back in the mid-1950s and fell in love with them. Along with the intruduction of the LP at that time we were beginning to hear a new form of jazz that critic Stanley Dance, among others, called "Mainstream Jazz". It was an apt title that described the continuing careers of the great (mainly black) solo geniuses of the slowly dying swing era. Apt because these men were playing better than they had ever played and also had the chance to lay out for longer than perimitted by the 10 or 12-inch 78 rpm disks. Mainstream led to a continuation or perfection of the swing solos that went before and paraded it alongside the burgeoning forms of be-bop and hard bop that were taking over the stage. I have to add that many of the founders of jazz (Armstrong, Bechet, Ory, Allen, Bigard, Lewis, Bunk Johnson, and Ed Hall, for example) were also still playing in the 1950s. And the simultaneous existence of all these schools gave us what must be considered "a" if not '"the" Golden Age of Jazz!! The popularity of jazz has paled in the years since the early 1970s, and these tracks by Dichenson et al may give us a clue as to why that is so.

One reason may be that after only a few notes you knew exactly who was playing and could name him. Almost all were brilliant but Vic Dickenson didn't sound like Jack Teagarden, Ed Hall could not be confused with Benny Goodman, Ben Wbster was not Lester Young, and Jo Jones did not thump his drums like Gene Krupa, and so on. Moreover, with the structure and logic of their solos unburdened by the complex harmonies beyond the ken of the average ear, the Mainstreama soloist had something to say -- and you got the message!

Enough scene setting. Put these disks on your set -- LPs or Cd's.
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5 Classic Albums Plus - Vic Dickenson - Septet 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 / Mainstream Jazz
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