This is the season when people in the record business give thanks for the old stuff. Catalog. Music of lasting value, often collected in glossy boxed sets that are easy to give (and easy to wrap). Below, a few suggestions for the music obsessed….
Tito Puente: Quatro: The Definitive Collection. Four crucial titles and rarities from the discography of pioneering Latin jazz percussionist Tito Puente. Includes Dance Mania.
Jerry Garcia/Merl Saunders: Keystone Companions: The Complete 1973 Fantasy Recordings. Official release of a live recording that’s been bootlegged endlessly – because it’s a gem.
Rolling Stones: Charlie Is My Darling, Ireland 1965. Tour documentary with frighteningly good previously unreleased live performances.
Various Artists/Orchestras: Mercury Living Presence Collector’s Edition. 50-CD anthology filled with painstakingly detailed recordings of the classical repertoire.
Govt Mule: The Georgia Bootleg Box. Three discs of live performance from 1996, when the Mule was ornery and hungry.
Roxy Music: Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982. Covers the early, high-concept Eno masterworks as well as the atmospheric later studio creations.
Peter Gabriel: So (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition). One of many “Anniversary” editions of classic rock albums; like most of them, this has been expanded to include demos, studio outtakes, and live performances.
Charles Mingus: The Complete Columbia and RCA Studio Collection. 10-CD box showcasing the roaring, endlessly restless ensemble of jazz bassist Charles Mingus at peak. Includes Mingus Ah Um, Tijuana Moods, and the posthumous Epitaph.
Various Artists: Surf Age Nuggets: Trash and Twang Instrumentals. Because there may be no better mood enhancer than surf guitar.