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"Keepnews Collection" Is Kaput

Concord engineer Joe Tarantino reportedly says that the label's "Keepnews Collection" reissue series is being cancelled, due to poor sales. The series featured new editions of classic jazz albums such as Sonny Rollins' Freedom Suite, Wes Montgomery's Incredible Jazz Guitar, and Thelonious Monk's Brilliant Corners, all remastered by Tarantino, with updated liner notes by longtime, legendary jazz producer Orrin Keepnews. I've picked up only a couple of the titles-George Russell's Ezz-thetics (comes with extra tracks, plus it's one of the best records from the Russell-David Baker collaborations), Bill Evans' Portrait in Jazz (I love this one so much that I felt compelled to "upgrade" from my old OJC copy)-partly because I already have just about everything Concord has reissued in the series.

Some fans are knocking the series on similar grounds, saying that Concord (and Fantasy before them) have simply rehashed these titles a few too many times, or that the series was primarily a vanity project for Keepnews. I think there's pretty much a consensus, though, that Joe Tarantino did excellent remastering work on these titles. No word yet on whether or not the 27 issued so far will stay in print, but if you like the series, you might want to pick up anything you want sooner rather than later.

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