Various Artists

Complete Commodore Jazz Recordings, Vol. 2

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The second of three "volumes" put out by Mosaic that reissues the entire Commodore catalog is, like the first, a 23-LP set; all of the music in this massive box was recorded within 13 months. The limited-edition series is a must (although it will be quite difficult to locate) for collectors of Chicago jazz and small-group swing for it is literally overflowing with classics. The first box is the most essential but Volume II is pretty close with recording sessions led by Sidney and Wilbur DeParis, Albert Ammons, Eddie Heywood, Hot Lips Page, Sid Catlett, Billie Holiday, the Kansas City Six with Lester Young, George Zack, Muggsy Spanier, Miff Mole, Joe Bushkin, Max Kaminsky, Edmond Hall, George Wettling, Bobby Hackett, Hot Lips Page, Pee Wee Russell, Red McKenzie, Jess Stacy, Jack Teagarden and Wild Bill Davison. In addition to the usual performances (many of which were previously hard-to-find), there are quite a few previously unissued alternate takes and some selections (including an entire Joe Bushkin Trio date) that were never out before. This set (if it can be found) will be expensive but worth it.