Mar 21, 2011
JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology, the new 111-track, 6-CD, 200-page compendium of the great American musical invention, traces the turning points of this 20th-century tale through its legendary innovators and notable styles. The great American musical invention of the 20th century, jazz is an ever-youthful, still evolving music of beauty, sensitivity, and brilliance that has produced (and been produced by) an extraordinary progression of talented artists.
With 111 tracks that showcase artists at their best and most influential, this remarkable anthology updates and expands the milestone Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz of 1973 (which I repeatedly borrowed from my public library, digging into jazz history with both hands), once again offering a wellspring resource for educators, students, musicians, beginners, and aficionados. Scores of leading jazz scholars, performers, and writers collaborated in selecting the recordings and producing the incisive annotations.
The accompanying book also features an informative background essay as well as suggestions for listeners on appreciating the full richness of the performances. If ever there were a “jazz appreciation course in a box,” this is it. JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology renews the legacy of Folkways Records founder Moses Asch’s commitment to letting the “people’s music” be heard and fulfills the educational mission of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the United States national museum. Starting today, you can preorder the box set directly from Smithsonian Folkways.
Think you know your jazz? By visiting the Smithsonian Folkways Sporkle Quiz site you can see how quickly you can “name that tune”!
For a treat of a preview, click here to listen to Mary Lou Williams’ rare, live version of “Virgo” from this sure to be classic set.