Prestige Jazz – Various (CD Starbucks Entertainment/Concord Records FSP-1504-2/CDS-055, 2007)($13.95) Okay, I’m a sucker. When I’m on the road for work I drink Starbucks Coffee. When I’m standing in line waiting for my ventelattefrappecappuchino I look at the CD’s conveniently placed next to where I have to wait for my order. Usually I don’t see anything that I haven’t heard before or I would be particularly interested in. When I was in Austin last month I stumbled across a title that I initially resisted temptation over. However, the urge became too strong and I found it in Cedar Rapids. The CD is called “Prestige Jazz” and is a compilation of 50’s and 60’s jazz artists from the venerable Prestige label which during its heyday was as big a deal as Blue Note.
“Prestige Jazz” is a compilation of songs from the likes of The Modern Jazz Quartet, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy and Sonny Rollins and is one of the first releases on the controversial Starbucks Entertainment label. You may have heard about Starbucks Entertainment in the press recently as it will be releasing Paul McCartney’s next album.
The packaging is really smart– white with the familiar 1960’s Prestige logo on it– it drew my eye immediately from between the other CD’s. Nice pop-artish graphics and beautiful photographs of the artists from the Michael Ochs Archives. Each song has a little paragraph talking about the song and the artist. Certainly a great primer for Jazz neophytes.
The release is sort of a cross promotional deal as it is a compilation of the recent remastering that the Prestige titles are going through by Rudy Van Gelder who recorded some of the great Jazz albums from that period. Of the songs I’d only heard “Django” by The Modern Jazz Quartet and “Like Someone In Love” by John Coltrane before. A nice addition to my small-but-growing Prestige collection and gives me ideas for other titles to look for. A good Jazz compilation when you need a jazz mix as well.
Looking at the website, it looks like they have a Riverside comp as well… another ventiwhitechocolatemochawithwhip please…