Magazine article IAJRC Journal

The Norton JAZZ Recordings

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

The Norton JAZZ Recordings

Article excerpt

Various Artists

The Norton JAZZ Recordings

Sony Special Products A742914 - A742917

4 CDs, 79 tracks - US $60.00

CD 1 - 24 tracks TT 72:00

CD 2 - 24 tracks TT 72:00

CD 3 - 16 tracks TT 72:00

CD 4 - 15 tracks TT 60:00

As I have previously indicated the worlds of publishing and recording have had to take a major leap into the use of modern technologies in the 21st Century. While many publishers and record companies have seemingly reluctantly joined the modern age, this will be the "new way" that they will go. Many current music books today come with a CD attached to it's inside cover. I have mentioned such things in my earlier review of the Smithsonian anthology that came out in April of 2011. This particular CD collection is linked to the publisher's internet site ( that expands and amplifies on the musical contents and heightens the enjoyment of the CDs*. Norton have done a wonderful job with this book/CD/internet connection and used the technology in interesting ways that I will get to at the end of my piece.

This package follows a rough "accepted chronological wisdom" arc from "go" to "now?" (1916-2001) and it ties in very tidily with the Giddins/DeVeaux book JAZZ I reviewed positively in these pages - see Vol. 43, No 3; September 2010, pp. 80-82 for that review. There are musicians dealt with here that are to be expected in the grand timeline as well as some who made a splash at one time or another but were often minimally obvious influences on that which came later. I leave it to the curious to delve into the book's website to get the full line-ups and song listings for these CDs: to do so here would probably drive the editor mad and once again fill up at least half an issue with nothing but listings! Artists get one entry, with a notable few with more: Louis (4), Duke (3), Miles (3), Monk (2), Bird (2), Bix (2), Morton (2), Hawk (2), Cecil Taylor (2), Jason Moran (2). The Norton collection's choices of material rest solely on the shoulders of two people: authors Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux - I cannot fault any of their choices. As I mentioned in my book review, I worked with Gary while he taught at Penn in the 70s. These selections and the interactive listening guide on the website complement each other and deal with each selection as he did/does in his university courses... not that there's anything wrong with that!

All materials have been legally cleared through the actual owners (ergo, the list price). There is probably little to criticize in the gatherings for this set until it advances nearer to the present - it will be the more recent selections that might produce some controversy and/or disagreement, but that is to be expected. …

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