Prestige Profile Reissue Series

Charlie B. Dahan By

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Like many of the great independent labels of the mid-twentieth century (i.e. Dial, Commodore, King, Stax to name a few), Prestige began out of a solely owned record store. Who better to best assess the current sounds and demands of the customer than the record shop proprietor. Bob Weinstock began the transition from record store to record label in 1949 and thus began a twenty plus year schedule of great jazz releases. The new team of Fantasy and Concord reissued this month ten of Prestige's most prolific artist's Best of Prestige recordings, newly entitled Prestige Profiles.

In addition to a newly remastered disc, each package includes a bonus disc that samples around 7 artists from the label. While The Vault always applauds labels that give the consumer more for their money, we weren't too thrilled with the way it was packaged. The sampler is in a slim slip case that once you open the package, separates from the Prestige Profile and gets lost in one's CD shelf. In addition it is a bit confusing until you look hard at the back of the package as to what is included. This minor annoyance need not deter one from adding these discs to your collection, as the music that experienced 24 bit remastering and the lower price makes it all worth while. Each disc includes detailed liner credits and an original essay with no photographs.

Miles Davis
Prestige Profiles Volume 1: Miles Davis

Prestige Records

This collection culminates Davis' works from 1951-1956 working his slow tempo muted sound to perfection with John Coltrane, Red Garland, Sonny Rollins, J.J Johnson and Max Roach to name a few. The disc starts off on such a high note of Davis' rendition of mentor Dizzy Gillespie's "Night in Tunisia and continues with highlight recordings of Oklahoma's "Surry with the Fringe on Top along with "Walkin' and "Doxy. The collection includes new liner notes by Eugene Holley, Jr. and the sampler disc contains seven tracks by Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins, Kenny Dorham, Red Garland, Gil Evans, John Coltrane and the Art Farmer / Donald Byrd duo.

Red Garland
Prestige Profiles Volume 2: Red Garland Quintets featuring John Coltrane

Prestige Records

This six song collection was recorded between 1957 and 1961 and features John Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Richard William and Oliver Nelson working through "Billie's Bounce, Duke Ellington's "Solitude and "On Green Dolphin Street. Ira Gitler wrote the liner essay for this release and the seven song bonus disc features recordings by Coleman Hawkins, Billy Taylor, Miles Davis, Tommy Flanagan / John Coltrane / Kenny Burrell, Thelonious Monk, Mose Allison and Ray Bryant.

Sonny Rollins
Prestige Profiles Volume 3: Sonny Rollins

Prestige Records

Recorded between 1951 and 1956, Rollins' Prestige Profile features ten recordings with Thelonious Monk, Clifford Brown, Kenny Drew, John Coltrane, Red Garland and many other notables. This collection illustrates the young Rollins finding his voice between technical proficiency and originality. Highlights include Rollins led recordings of "In a Sentimental Mood, "St. Thomas and "Tenor Madness. The liner essay was authored by Ira Gitler and the bonus disc features recordings by Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Benny Golson, Dexter Gordon, Oliver Nelson and the quartet of Hank Mobley, Al Cohn, John Coltrane and Zoot Sims.

Coleman Hawkins
Prestige Profiles Volume 4: Coleman Hawkins

Prestige Records

At the time of his work with Prestige (1958-1962), Hawkins was comfortable in his role as an elder statesman and surrounded himself with the best players around including Red Garland, Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis. Tommy Flanagan and Ray Bryant. The eleven tracks by Hawkins include such highlights as "Greensleeves, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, "I'm Beginning to See the Light and "Soul Blues. The liner essay was authored by Bob Bernotas and the bonus CD includes eight tracks by the quartet of Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis / Buddy Tate / Coleman Hawkins / Arnett Cobb, the collaboration of Benny Carter with Ben Webster and Barney Bigard, Gene Ammons, Illinois Jacquet, Shorty Baker and Doc Cheatham, Buck Clayton with Buddy Tate, the duo of Stan Getz and Zoot Simms and Wardell Gray.

Eric Dolphy
Prestige Profiles Volume 5: Eric Dolphy

Prestige Records

In addition to the studio recordings, Dolphy's ten song collection features four live recordings from both New York City and Copenhagen with such collaborators as Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, Freddie Hubbard and Mal Waldron to name a few. This collection also features the favorite "On Green Dolphin Street along with "Out There, "Fire Waltz and "Serene. Richard Ginell contributes the liner essay and the seven song bonus disc features recordings by Booker Ervin, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Steve Lacy with Don Cherry, Don Ellis and Ron Carter with Eric Dolphy and Mal Waldron.

Miles Davis
Prestige Profiles Volume 6: Jackie McLean

Prestige Records

The smooth alto sax of McLean is captured during these eight tracks recorded in 1956 and 1957 with artists such as Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, Mal Waldron and Paul Chambers. Featured on this collection are McLean's work outs of "Strange Blues, the sultry "Embraceable You and "Alto Madness. The line essay was written by Carlo Wolff and the eight track bonus disc features tracks by Gigi Gryce, Lee Konitz, James Moody, Sonny Stitt, The Miles Davis Allstars, Art Taylor, Sonny Criss and the Phil Woods Septet.

Kenny Burrell
Prestige Profiles Volume 7: Kenny Burrell

Prestige Records

Eight recordings highlight this guitarists time (1956 through 1963) with the Prestige Recrding Companny. Burrell's virtuosity comes forward on takes including "It's a Wonderful World, "I'll Close My Eyes and "Minor Mishap with the help of John Coltrane, Jimmy Cobb, Coleman Hawkins, Jack McDuff and many other great players. Michael Rozek contributes the booklet essay and the seven track bonus disc features recordings by Tal Farlow, George Benson, Jimmy Raney, Pat Martino, Jack McDuff, Rusty Bryant and Boogaloo Joe Jones.

Lightnin' Hopkins
Prestige Profiles Volume 8: Lightnin' Hopkins

Prestige Records

Hopkins recorded for the subsidiary and appropriately names Bluesville label in the early 1960's. Featured on this release along with some collaborations with Sonny Terry include "Pneumonia Blues, "Back to New Orleans, "Mojo Hand the compelling "Walkin' This Road By Myself and the always entertaining "Good Morning Little School Girl. The liner essay was contributed by Lee Hildebrand. The Prestige bonus sampler includes thirteen tracks by amongst other Sonny Terry with Brownie McGhee, Willie Dixon, Jimmy Witherspoon, Sunnyland Slim, Lonnie Johnson, Big Joe Williams and Roosevelt Sykes.

John Coltrane
Prestige Profiles Volume 9: John Coltrane

Prestige Records

This collection explores Coltrane's career from 1956 through 1958, as he began to stretch out as a leader in a variety of ensembles with Tadd Dameron, Mal Waldron, Donald Byrd, Jimmy Cobb and Paul Chambers. This collection is highlighted by "Trane's Slo Blues (a.k.a. Slowtrane), "Russian Lullaby, "On a Misty Night and "Theme for Ernie. Joe Goldberg wrote the collections liner essay and the bonus disk contains eight tracks by Miles Davis, Red Garland, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Mal Waldron, Eric Dolphy, Yusef Lateef and Steve Lacy.

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
Prestige Profiles Volume 10: Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

Prestige Records

On Davis' twelve tune collection, the listener finds Lockjaw working his magic with Shirley Scott for a hot tenor and organ combination. Highlights include "Willow Weep for Me, "In the Kitchen, "Trane Whistle and the standard "Body and Soul recorded between 1958 and 1962. The essay was authored by Bret Primack and the bonus collection includes eight tracks by Gene Ammons / Sonny Stitt, Jack McDuff, Willis Jackson, Richard Holmes, Houston Person, Roland Kirk, Jimmy Forrest and Shirley Scott.

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