Great New Boxed Sets


That’s What Happened captures Miles Davis on the comeback trail of his career in the early to mid-1980s.

(Photo: Purple Trap/Black Editions)

With all the new releases coming out around the holidays, here are a few team DownBeat is digging into right now!

Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll & The Trinity
Far Horizons (Soul Bank)
Organist Brian Auger was one of the first adventurers to start breaking down the walls between jazz, R&B and pop music back in the 1960s, and these Trinity releases serve as proof. When the group added soul-pop vocalist Julie Driscoll to the mix, they were not just breaking down walls, they turned heads. Far Horizons pulls the group’s four records, released between 1967 and 1970, into this one neat package.

Peter Brötzmann/Keiji Haino
Duo (Purple Trap/Black Editions)
The free music duo of German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and guitarist/vocalist Keiji Haino have pulled out a four-LP box set of music, their first release since 1996, that includes eight, full-size, full-color art prints by the artists. The music is a full-force flight into the unknown.

Miles Davis
That’s What Happened: 1982–1985: The Bootleg Series Vol. 7 (Columbia/Legacy)
The latest in Columbia’s Miles Davis Bootleg Series, That’s What Happened captures Davis on the comeback trail of his career. The three-disc set contains previously unreleased cuts from Star People, Decoy and You’re Under Arrest as well as Davis and his crew live in Montreal from July 7, 1983. Check out DownBeat’s October issue for the 4-star review of the box.

Ella Fitzgerald
Jukebox Ella: The Complete Verve Singles, Vol. 1 (Verve)
For the first time ever, Verve collects the singles Ella Fitzgerald released on the label in one, beautifully packaged box. The 36-song, three-LP set features a tidal wave of Ella hits, including “Beale Street Blues,” “A Tisket, A Tasket,” “Travelin’ Light,” “Desafinado,” “The Shadow Of Your Smile” and more. The limited first pressing on this one is set at 1,000.

Billie Holiday
The Complete Decca Recordings (Verve)
This 50-track collection spans Holiday’s five-plus years recording for the Decca label. The four-LP, limited-edition set features mastered takes on the 36 tunes Lady Day cut for Decca, plus a variety of alternate versions. The first pressing is 2,000.

Wadada Leo Smith
String Quartets No. 1–12 (TUM)
Emerald Duets (TUM)
The great trumpeter and composer refuses to be confined by genre or label. For his 80th birthday, he went big, delivering not one, but two major box sets. String Quartets No. 1–12 matches Smith with the RedKoral Quartet performing string compositions Smith began working on as long ago as 1965. Emerald Duets pairs Smith with a host of friends such as Pheeroan akLaff, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink and Jack DeJohnette for five CDs worth of camaraderie. See DownBeat’s September issue for the full scoop.

Check out all of DownBeat’s Holiday Gift Guide here!

  • McBride__Kahn_copy.jpg

    ​Christian McBride and writer Ashley Kahn meet for a DownBeat Blindfold Test hosted by New York University’s Jazz Studies program.

  • Samara_Joy_%C2%A92023_Mark_Sheldon-4639.jpg

    Samara Joy brought fans to their feet in the middle of her Newport set!

  • 20170912_CeramicDog_EbruYildiz_29-2_copy.jpg

    Ceramic Dog is, from right, Shahzad Ismaily, Ches Smith and Ribot.

  • 23_Sullivan_Fortner_BFT_APA_Indianapolis_copy_2.jpg

    ​“He was the coolest,” Fortner says of Nat “King” Cole. “Didn’t break a sweat.”

  • 23_Houston_Person_by_Eugene_Petrushansky.jpg

    Person’s esthetic took shape in an era when jazz functioned as neighborhood social entertainment and moved with a deep dance groove.

On Sale Now
September 2023
Kris Davis
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