The Complete Capitol Bobby Hackett Solo Sessions (#210)

Mosaic Records Limited Edition Box Set


The Complete Capitol Bobby Hackett Solo Sessions (#210)
“What was special about Bobby Hackett? In a world of hit-you-over-the-head, high-note, high-speed, supersonic, loud trumpeters, Bobby Hackett caressed your ears with understated astonishingly beautiful melodies.” – Joe H. Klee, The Mississippi Rag

This set is Running Low
Limited Edition: 5000 copies

5 CDs -  $80.00


A Sound Like No Other

Most of these hard-to-come-by Capitol sessions have been long forgotten and unavailable for decades. However, we've decided it was high time to bring the beauty and charm of these 10 classic Hackett LPs back in the public eye with a box set of five CDs that include 5 previously unissued performances.

The bulk of these featured his quartet, which included Dave McKenna, Denzil Best and Buzzy Drootin at various times. At The Embers, Quartet and Easy Beat featured the quartet alone; Soft Lights featured them with tastefully scored backdrops like a string quintet; and In A Mellow Mood and Rendezvous Soft Lights featured a woodwind ensemble. The selection of tunes is outstanding, and Hackett's lyrical cornet work is magnificent.

Gotham Jazz Scene features an unusual and interesting band that included Bob Wilber, Ernie Caceres, Milt Hinton and Dick Cary in a number of standards and originals. Even the rare Blues With A Kick and Hawaii Swings albums showcase Bobby in delightful settings, proving that he could make divine music out of any genre. Note: This set does not include "Coast Concert" and "Jazz Ultimate" which were already included in Mosaic's out-of-print Teagarden set.

Read More About Bobby Hackett:
Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates »

"To every musical situation Bobby brought his impeccable ear (he had perfect pitch), profound harmonic and melodic sense, unflappable time and unfailing taste. And then another, secret ingredient--an indefinable something that can break the listener's heart, ever so gently. " - Dan Morgenstern, liner notes

  • Booklet
  • Audio Quality
  • Photography
  • Sample Session Notes
Dan Morgenstern, one of the foremost jazz journalists, former editor of Down Beat, curator of the Institute For Jazz Studies and author of countless books, provides an in-depth, insightful and loving essay about Hackett and the music.

In the age of microsizing, every Mosaic Records Box Set booklet is still 11 x 11 inches to allow our customers to appreciate all the extras we put into printing them (and for easier reading).


Having access to the Capitol vaults we were able to go the original mono and stereo tapes and have unearthed five previously unissued tracks.

Photo Copyright © Protected
Bobby Hackett
The photographs used originate from the collections of Ray Avery, Frank Driggs, Capitol Records and live shots from Dick Gibson’s famous jazz parties taken by William McPherson.

At The Embers

The first of Bobby's three quartet albums for Capitol took its name from the boite on New York's East Side that made trumpet-led quartets a staple commodity, in clubs and on records. The genesis was Jonah Jones' l955 stay, initially a Monday night booking. The veteran jazzman, eight years Bobby's senior, at first resisted the idea of muting his rather brash sound in order not to disrupt patrons' conversations, but eventually had no less than nine different mutes in his arsenal. The first label to catch on was RCA Victor, but their LP didn't do so well. It was Capitol's Dave Cavanaugh who knew how to package and market Jonah, after he'd put a shuffle beat to On The Street Where You Live and sold close to a million singles, under the banner 'Muted Jazz.' The string of albums and gigs that followed set Jonah Jones up for the rest of his long life.

Bobby also played the Embers but didn't have to mute as much as Jonah -- he knew how to play open horn softly when needed. But he didn't have much heart for the shuffle beat (we'll hear a few instances only), nor did he sing (Jonah did). But the quartet format stood him in good stead long after his Capitol contract, and his Embers gigs, ran out.

Bobby's sidemen for this first LP were an old New England friend, drummer Buzzy Drootin, who had served in the house band at the first Eddie Condon's and later in the same role at George Wein's Mahogany Hall in Boston but was a very flexible player who also played with Charlie Parker and recorded with Serge Chaloff. Buzzy (Parker named that tune for him) had an inspiring, springy beat and knew how to adjust his dynamics. Bassist John Giuffrida, who briefly cut down his last name to its first syllable for professional reasons and then thought better of it (he was billed as John Giuff on this album) , had worked with Bobby before, as well as with Max Kaminsky -- and with the Hartford Symphony. Least known was pianist Pepe Moreale, brother of trumpeters Jimmy and Jake, who were A.B.C. staff colleagues and recommended him to Bobby. His fleet fingers had worked out in society bands and for a lengthy stint at the Sands in Las Vegas.

Bobby presents a varied program here, but the cuts are short, obviously geared for airplay. Luckily, he knows how to concentrate his messages. The mute on Paradise, the biggest hit of Russ Columbo's brief life, sounds like a Harmon. Originally a waltz, the tune's taken at a bouncy clip, but Bobby demonstrates great continuity of ideas, buoyed by Buzzy's beat. Spring, Beautiful Spring is one of those oddities in Bobby's repertory, probably picked up at some stage of his studio career, or on an early danceband gig. It's also a transformed waltz, vintage l903, by the prolific Berlin-based Paul Lincke, known (if at all) in the US for his Glow Worm of Mills Brothers fame. It's presented a la Sleep, with Bobby, in straight mute, taking some long breaths in the rideout. Nice modulation, too. C'est Magnifique, of more recent vintage, brings Cole Porter back, and Bobby starts it off with a quote from the Marseillaise. Midstream, he switches mutes, from bucket to straight, after which he gobbles up those changes! The French anthem reappears at the end of a good one.

I'll See You In My Dreams, one of Isham Jones's many hit tunes, first heard in l924 and the featured in no less than five films, brings down the tempo a bit and has Pepe doubling celeste, on which he states the theme, bucketed Bobby behind him, then moving up front with a break and doing a perfect half-chorus. Another well-placed break and celeste ending. It's Been So Long, a Walter Donaldson l936 opus favored by Bunny Berigan, is obviously also to Bobby's liking. He's inventive here, and Moreale's solo's one of his better efforts. Short as it is (under two minutes), That Naughty Waltz is a killer. The tempo's way up, Bobby (in bucket) romps, trades off with Buzzy (who keeps that tempo steady) and just spreads joy -- this l9l9 ditty never had it so good! With Cheek To Cheek we return to more standard fare; this l935 Irving Berlin gem could pass for Porter or Kern in sophistication, and quickly became a favorite of harmonically astute jazz players. Bobby takes it pretty fast, and nails that tricky sequence down. After the good bass spot, he re-enters with a nifty triplet, and the entire performance rides on Buzzy's brushes.

If I Had My Way, a l9l3 ditty revived by Bing Crosby in the eponymous 1940 film, finds Bobby giving in to the shuffle beat -- but he puts it to good use, starting off, in straight mute, with great phrasing and time. Bass and drums lock in behind the piano solo, and when Bobby comes back, with a change in key, he struts, with a hint of Bix in there. But Monday Date of course brings Louis to mind, and Bobby pays loving tribute here--his muted work sounds much like Pops on the original Hot Five record, one of the master's rare tightly muted offerings. Moreale gets into the spirit of the composer, Earl Hines. If You Were There is perhaps the most obscure of all the items in this entire package, and all I can tell you is that its composer, Andrew Ackers, was accompanist for Kate Smith, Georgia Gibbs and Jane Morgan, among others, and that he came up with a nice melody that Bobby takes to. He plays with astonishing fluency here, phrasing like a saxophonist and making it sound easy. It ain't. Two Cole Porter tunes conclude this nice LP. All Of You, of Miles Davis fame, offers creative Bobby, with that special bucket sound, and Rosalie, which Porter himself disparaged as a 'Tin Pan Alley kind of song, done at the request of a film producer in l937, and which became a hit, to his dismay, is taken way up by Bobby. Even at this speed, he puts every note right in place, and there's fine interplay here between him and Buzzy Drootin.


Click here to write a review

  Good Set
I love Bobby Hackett's music and, like many others, find myself enjoying some sessions on this set that (to me) sounded unpromising at first (string sections, Hawaiian instruments, etc.). I also like the job Mosaic did on this set- it's well organized & the sound is great. However, I would enjoy the set much more if it contained a higher percentage of Bobby & his small groups playing good unfettered jazz. I wish Mosaic had been able to include Coast Concert & Jazz Ultimate.
  Amazingly Lyrical Trumpet Playing from a Master of his Craft
This is the third Mosaic boxed set in my music library and won't be my last. Superb sound quality that is clearly the result of exceptional source material and excellence in mastering. This music has never sounded better.
  Tasteful, lyrical jazz by a master!
Hackett was truly a master of his instrument. On this tasteful set, he managed to produce an endless stream of lyrical improvisation that is always fresh and original. What I enjoy most about this set is hearing Hackett's beautiful, original improvisations on ballad after ballad. I also enjoy hearing ballads with a beat. There is uptempo material here too, but the Ballads caught and held my attention. Hackett was secure enough that he never sounded like he was trying to prove anything, he just played his horn expressing his endless flow of ideas. Listening to this set, it is not hard to figure out why the master himself, Louis Armstrong, could compliment Hackett's playing with obvious sincerity. This is jazz at it's very finest.
  Early Jazz - Modern Sound
This set allows you to hear early jazz without the tape hiss and poor sound of the early recordings. The playing is great too. Hackett has a smooth, cool delivery which is unfortunately underated in jazz history. Thank you Mosaic for bringing us another great one!!!
  Hackett from Sackett
Bobby Hackett was probably right up there with the all time best. He was locally known in his hometown as Hackett From Sackett St. A sign that he never forgot where he came from. Ironically from the same neighborhood as the great current, Scott Hamilton
  Bobby Hackett is THE BOSS!!!!
Hi again dear Jazz Lovers! Mr.Hackett is one of the best JAZZ PLAYERS EVER! God bless MOSAIC for GREAT JOB!!!! np4.
  so great!
Bobby was so great, thank you to have this music back!
  a wonderful musician
Forget that Bobby Hackett's Capitol albums lean a little toward the pop side of things: you know, contrived concepts, fussy arrangements, not enough room to stretch out. Just listen to that cornet. Hackett had a combination of tone, technique, taste, subtlety and swing that has never been surpassed- he was a wonderful musician. The sometimes pop orientation doesn't hurt things much here. If nothing else it keeps Hackett out of the Dixieland rut he was often placed in, and saves us from having to hear Muskrat Ramble twice every CD. The tune selection is stellar, and some of the arrangements are actually quite pleasant- the cellos and violas in the first session, for instance, really complement Hackett nicely. Even when the arrangements don't work too well, Hackett usually lifts the music to a level far above the standard 1950s pop fare. So no, Moasaic isn't "selling out" or drifting away from "true jazz" with this set. They are just doing what they've been doing for years, giving rec
  One more wish.
I wrote the first review down at the bottom of this page when this set was released. Again, THANK YOU Mosaic! Am I being greedy if I request you to consider compiling a "Complete Hackett on Columbia/Epic"? My first wish came true. Now I can only hope for a "double header."
I like chicken
I am always thanking my lucky stars for a company like Mosaic that gives us the opportunity to hear this wonderful music again. If it weren't for this great company, this music would be buried in the vaults never to see the light of day! The quality of their work, the excellent research they do to bring us a little bit of musical history is priceless! And now for the Bobby Hackett review. I have been a Bobby Hackett fan since the first time I heard his beautiful cornet solo on "A String of Pearl" by the GM band. Now, Mosaic has just released the complete Capitol Sessions of Bobby Hackett. This is a MUST for anyone who loves good music. MOSAIC delivers again, another superb production that if Mr. Hackett were here, I'm sure he would be proud of. Another benefit for music lovers, Mosiac gives us all the information needed in each box set with a booklet detailing each recording session including dates, musicians and the unreleased or alternate takes. Thanks again Mosaic for doing another
  A Dream Come True
About a year ago, I wrote Mosaic suggesting they put out a Complete Hackett on Capitol. I hoped, but wasn't sure my dream would ever come true. THANK YOU, MOSAIC!!

The Complete Capitol Bobby Hackett Solo Sessions (#210)
The Complete Capitol Bobby Hackett Solo Sessions (#210)
Limited Edition: 5000 copies
5 CDs - $80.00

Customer Reviews:

"I am always thanking my lucky stars for a company like Mosaic that gives us the opportunity to hear this wonderful music again. If it weren't for this great company, this music would be buried in the vaults never to see the light of day!"
Read More Reviews »

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