By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 11, 2006 at 11:03 AM
Even though she's in Amsterdam, we caught up with Milwaukee's Cheryl Pawelski to ask her about the new six-CD John Coltrane box she's compiled with her partner in archives, Patrick Milligan.

"Fearless Leader" -- which will be released Sept. 26, three days after what would have been Trane's 80th birthday -- collects all of his recordings as a leader for Bob Weinstock's Prestige label.  But, is there anything previously unreleased?

"No unissued," says Pawelski. "Unfortunate, I know.  The Prestige material that exists is pretty much all there is as Weinstock reused tape.  At the time I'm sure it made sense. Who knew we'd come trolling for bonus tracks years later?  I think Weinstock was going for the best take and felt that was all he needed to keep."

Even though Fantasy -- now owned by Concord -- already did a huge honkin' Trane box more than a decade ago, there's value in the set nevertheless says Pawelski, who visits Milwaukee a couple times each year and remains connected to a number of Brew City musicians. Part of it is in the form of never before seen photos and improved liner notes, but the aim is also to take a more populist approach.

"The goal with the Trane and Miles sets is to break down the old huge expensive boxes and update the packaging and make the material more affordable."

And, as an aside, the box adds the day of the week to session dates (e.g. "Friday, February 7, 1958"), which really gets jazz geeks like me thinking.  Many of these sessions took place on Fridays, a night which I'd have thought would be a lucrative one for musicians in the New York clubs. Shouldn't they have been recording on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and gigging on the weekends?

When we get a closer look at "Fearless Leader," we'll tell you more.
Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.