The Essential Jazz Collection

by Al Merritt


Seven ingenious six-by-five-inch booklets, each containing five CDs, explore the history of Jazz in the first fifty years with eighty pages of text formulated by the expert team of Jazz writers Mark Gardner, Max Harrison, Mike Hennessey, Alun Morgan and Chris Sheridan under the directorship of Dr. Nathan Davis (Head of Jazz Studies, University of Pittsburgh).

This unique assemblage of classic recordings forms the ideal collection of the most influentual Jazz recordings made during the first half of the twentieth century. The selection of the finest and most important recordings by The Kings of Jazz have been redeveloped on compact disc by the acknowledged expert sound engineer Winnie Leyh of Klangstudio Leyh, Sandhausen, Nr Heidelberg.

This ideal collation is a must for educational and historical bodies as well as all caring Jazz aficionados. Volume one covers the recordings of King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Ressie Smith, Sidney Bechet and Fletcher Henderson. It includes all the important highlights of their recording careers. Similarly, volumes two, three and four continue with fifteen other Jazz giants. Volume five deals with the bebop development period, while volumes six and seven are concerned with individual instrumentalists not already included in the previous five volumes.

This really is the ideal way to collect the essential Jazz recordings - just to hold and peruse one of the volumes is an excitement in itself to any serious follower of the art. The beautifully packaged booklets include detailed historical information concerning those musicians included as well as relevant photographs of the period.

At the present time volumes one, two and three are available with volume four due this spring and the others to follow by the end of this year.

Each five-CD set in the Essential Jazz Collection is priced at approximately 100 DM plus postage. Available from IN + OUT Records, Klarasstrasse 45, 79106 Freiburg, Germany. Fax: 49.202.3648. E-mail: <>.

by Al Merritt

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