Two requests for info and opinions, one rather obscure, the other not so much ...
(1) I have an LP that I bought some 30 years ago, which was never released on CD and is unlikely to ever make it. It was put out by Murray Hill Records, which I think is defunct. It's a boxed set of 5 LPs called "Collector's History of Classic Jazz". It included restorations of some very old jazz recordings. In copying the tracks to my computer (in WAV files to burn on a CD) I found that a couple of the tracks that I really like are damaged with pops and dropouts (probably from my playing them so much over the years, before the digital era.)
Ideally, I'd like to find the original versions, if they exist in another collection on CD. Otherwise, I'd settle for the same songs recorded by other artists, if they are done well and true to the spirt of the originals. The tracks I am interested in are "That's a Plenty" (Sidney Bechet & Muggsy Spanier), "Keyhole Blues" (Louis Armstrong) and "Mama's Gone Goodbye" (Bunk Johnson). All great tunes, by the way, if you haven't heard them. Does anyone know of a currently available CD that contains one or more of these titles?
(2) I'm also looking for a good recording of the complete opera "Carmen". But there are a lot of versions out there that contain music that Bizet didn't write, or that leave out the dialog, have weird cuts or strange tempos. I really want a very straightforward version. I have an LP of the Grace Bumbry version (billed on the jacket -- I mean the box -- as the "first stereo recording of the original 1875 opera comique version") which tries to create exactly what was presented on the opening night (when Bizet himself reportedly conducted) with all the cuts, last minute additions, etc. It's wonderful. But it's analog and well below the standards of fidelity that we are used to today.
I also have a DVD of the movie with Placido Domingo, which I like a lot. Is anyone familiar with the soundtrack CD? Does it contain the whole opera, or are there cuts? For years I've been going into record shops and looking at the truly bewildering number of versions of Carmen on the market and it's a bit overwhelming. A couple of times I bought one that sounded good when listening to a couple of tracks in the store, but turned to be lacking when I got them home. I've given them all away. I watch the DVD now when I am home, since I have great speakers on my TV, but I'd like a CD that I can play in my car. This is one of my favorite pieces of music and, as originally presented, an absolute masterpiece in terms of dramatic structure and effective storytelling. I go back to it again and again for inspiration. It's time that I got a decent CD.
I'd be grateful for any suggestions. Thanks.