Mosaic Select: Johnny Mercer (MS-028)

Mosaic Select

 

Mosaic Select: Johnny Mercer (MS-028)

"The Southern warmth of that voice put a smile in your heart and his mastery of rhythm put the beat in your feet." - Billy Vera, Original liner notes.

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Limited Edition: 5000 copies

3 CDs -  $44.00

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The Wit, Charm and Swinging Side of Johnny Mercer.



In this Mosaic Select, we present 79 Capitol tracks from the label's birth in 1942 to 1947, which showcase the more jazz tinged efforts as well as some non-jazz items that are impeccably delivered by Mr. Mercer.

Singing close to a dozen of his own tunes like "One For My Baby" and "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive", Mercer delivers his own interpretations on classics by Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, The Gershwins, Harold Arlen and Willard Robison. Backing Mercer are bands led by Paul Whiteman with Jack Teagarden, Wingy Manone, Cootie Williams, Billy Butterfield, Bobby Sherwood, Benny Goodman and the King Cole Trio.

But for the most part he is accompanied by Paul Weston's studio orchestras that boasted the cream of L.A.'s jazz musicians including the remarkable tenor saxists Herbie Haymer and Eddie Miller, clarinetist Matty Matlock and an incomperable rhythm section of either pianists Stan Wrightsman or Milt Raskin, guitarist George Van Eps, bassist Jack Ryan and drummer Nick Fatool. Joining Mercer vocally on many of the performances are The Pied Pipers with either Jo Stafford or June Hutton.

There are also nine previously unissued sides plus two Capitol transcription sessions that were made for radio use only. The set includes liner notes from both Billy Vera and rare photos from the Michael Ochs collection.




Read More About Johnny Mercer:
Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates »



CUSTOMER REVIEWS

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  Not here
No panty waist, simpy vocals here. This WWII era singing, when men were men, and women were women, and there was romance in the air.
 
  WWII era
Very enjoyable set - it certainly brings you back to the WWII era. The vocals are very good, the bands are usually excellent, and the whole spirit of the set is upbeat and assured. I think two CDs are tremendous (#2&3) and one is good (#1). Very pleased with the set as a whole. The recorded samples on this website represent the set well.
 
  Most fun Mosaic set ever!
Putting all musical talent aside, and that's a lot of talent to move, the pure fun and enjoyment of these three discs is both expected and not to be believed. I knew I'd love it, but it is completely infectious and I haven't stopped listening all day. Can't recommend this set enough. Reet!
 
  Johnny Mercer caught at the peak of his career!
Johhny Mercer was a multi-talented person. He was a prolific and superb composer/lyricist, an innovative record company executive and a swinging singer. This compilation really only covers the last category. Most of his famous pop recordings are missing, but you can find them easily elsewhere. Here he is singing very few of his own songs. What you get is an array of selections by an instantly recognizable performer who gave each piece his own unique interpertation. Yes, his voice was far from perfect in both range and pitch, but that may be what appealed to so many ordinary shower singers who bought his Capitol recordings. He also projected the confidence and ease that made Crosby and Sinatra, in his later years, so popular. For those interested in learning more about Mercer, warts and all, there are two books currently available. For those who just want to hear some good singing, this is an album to get into your collection. Don Seitas; Mill Valley, CA
 
  I love this set
The music is so alive and so reminding of the virtues of this great writer performer. I love it.I listen to it and it makes me high with delight!
 
  The Best Mercer Collection... EVER!!
When I heard that Mosaic was doing a Johnny Mercer release I was stunned and of course very pleased. Several years back I had the opportunity to visit the famous Capitol Records building in Hollywood through a friend who worked in the music business. I met a gentleman there, whose name escapes me at the moment, and oddly enough the first question I asked him was if Capitol would ever consider doing a complete retrospective of Johnny's recordings (after all, he founded the company!). He told me it was on the table as a possibility, but he had doubts that it would ever materialize. Well, here we are (many!) years later and thanks to Mosaic we get to enjoy a true genius at work via a nice sampling of well-known classics and rarely heard gems. My ONLY complaint is that one of my favorite songs by Mercer and the Pied Pipers was left off: "Take Me Back to Little Rock Arkansas." (I have the 78 and play it all the time - but would have killed for a digitally remastered version) Otherwise, sound and presentation are top-notch. I hope other early Capitol artists will soon receive their due: Billy Butterfield, Sam Donahue and Bobby Sherwood would be my top three picks. Mercer fans and MUSIC fans rejoice! This set will hold a very special place in my collection indeed!
 
  wheres some pictures.
the sound is beautiful all done in 24 bit.there is a treasure of hits the booklet is fair. i loved this set. my daughter came down a was singing to ac-u-ate-the positive great trubute to a real star.
 
  Mercer wears a cheap suit thanks to Mosaic.
The music in this set is a real treasure. The instrumental backing is such that these songs could be enjoyed as jazz pieces unto themselves. Mercer and his vocal accompanists need little introduction to experienced listeners. His finesse is impeccable even on more novel tracks. As far as the music is concerned this set ranks as the essential Mercer collection. Many of these tracks appear here on disc for the first time. If all were well it would be the perfect collection for the first time Johnny Mercer buyer and the collector alike. However it is with much regret and surprise that I give Mosaic failing marks due to this sets packaging which is absolutely terrible. I have been a loyal Mosaic customer for many years. The quality of the materials used in packaging this set leaves me with the feeling that my loyalty has been taken completely for granted. I have also worked in the music business for many years so I know what it costs in terms of artwork to put together a decent collection. Mosaic raised the price of their Select Series and justified it by promising to enhance the quality of their materials. If this is quality, than I am appalled. The printing is poorer than the grey market releases that litter France and Italy. The liners look as if they were Xeroxed as does the booklet, which is nearly devoid of photographs. There is no printing whatever on the cd jacket covers and the on disc printing is smeared. I am not one to fuss over artwork but this is really shameful and amateurish quality, what’s more I believe that it decidedly so. It is a real shame that Mosaic has sunken to this level and decided to squander the trust of its customers. I wish that this set had been released by JSP or Proper. I give this set three stars. Johnny and his crew shine and delight. But Mosaic needs to work on their chops if they intend to have my business.
 
  Wonderful surprises
I was so happy to see these old capital recordings on Mosaic and given the honour that they deserve. The Paul Weston Band has so many great musicians, and Johnny Mercer's vocals are super. Add to this the wonderful Pied Pipers and Jo Stafford and you've got the recipe for a top notch Mosaic 3 CD boxed set. The most wonderful surprise for me was "Mrs. Wiggs Of The Cabbage Patch". which was never released before. It features a great vocal duet by Jo Stafford and Mercer as well as great music by the Weston orchestra. The song is a composition by Johnny Mercer and Paul Weston. Don't let the title prevent you from giving it a listen. It's a novelty song, but a very good one. I don't know why it was never released before. Enjoy! By the way "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch" is a restaurant. Meal sounds inviting. Jerry Baltesson
 
  Wow-A Rare Treasure Indeed!
As one of the premier nostalgia and swing radio stations in the U.S., we were absolutely thilled to hear about this timeless and important project from Mosaic. It takes plenty to impress Mark Magistrelli, our host of When Swing Was King, and this 3- CD set has us all buzzing! This incredible product is slated to become a major premium for our Fall fundraiser. The previously unreleased material and the radio selections add to the rarity of this set, and peple have been begging for this material to be issued for years! Thanks to Mark Magistrelli for turning us on to "Mosaic Select Johnny Mercer" and to Mosaic for undertaking the preservation and distribution of the works of one of America's great music makers! Our listeners have wanted this for years, and Mosaic has delivered! George Zahn, Station Director, WMKV 89.3FM, wmkvfm.org
 
  Invaluable...and immensely entertaining!
With the passage of time, a growing number of critics and historians are asserting that Johnny Mercer may have been the single greatest overall lyricist America has ever produced. This alone would make the Mosaic Select Johnny Mercer set a vital reissue. But Mosaic has gone even further by culling highlights from Mercer's early Capitol Records output, proving beyond question that he was also one of the the greatest jazz vocalists (or "rhythm singers") of his time. The co-stars and sidemen are also first-rate: Eddie Miller, Wingy Manone, Nick Fatool, Billy Butterfield...we even get a glimpse of the very young Mel Torme on drums. These long-unavailable sides (most of them unissued since their initial appearance on 78 rpm!) reflect a lost age when quality jazz, popular appeal and high entertainment value weren't mutually exclusive. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Mercer in the early 1970s and he was amazed that there were *any* young people who had the slightest inkling of who he was or the musical heritage he represented. Thanks to Mosaic, future generations will understand why this astonishing talent was revered by his peers and public as both a dynamite performer *and* a creative genius.
 
  A great Mosaic set! Jazz singing can be entertaining.
I am usually a listener who auditions anywhere from 1-6 selections at a time. However, for this set, I listened to all three discs without interruption. I found myself caught up in Mercer's interpretation and the great musicianship of the cats backing him up. Whatever Mr. Mercer may have lacked in vocal technique he more than made up for with truly impeccable delivery. Plus the musicianship on every single selection is outstanding. The list of musicians heard on this set reads like a who's who of Swing era jazz men. And, true to form, Mosaic serves up a lot of pleasant surprises---for example, Mel Torme' playing drums on "Sam's Got Him." The restoration is up to Mosaic's usual demanding standards. Thanks to Mr. Wenzel and company for producing this treasury of Mercer.
 

Mosaic Select: Johnny Mercer (MS-028)
Mosaic Select: Johnny Mercer (MS-028)
Limited Edition: 5000 copies
3 CDs - $44.00


Customer Reviews:

"With the passage of time, a growing number of critics and historians are asserting that Johnny Mercer may have been the single greatest overall lyricist America has ever produced."
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Limited Edition Photographs


Selected images became the album cover shots for Blue Note's brilliant designer Reid Miles, and are instantly recognized by millions. Now, museum-quality prints in limited editions can be owned forever... But only by a few.

Each image will be made available for one month only. At the end of that month, only the images ordered will be printed and that will be the end of the Limited Edition.