14 Sides of Commercial Jazz

Smith JazzThis 7-disc classic Jazz comp by The Smithsonian Collection is a beast to tackle. Heavy on the Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, these 14 sides offer a grand overview of the weighty sphere known as Jazz, but with the scope of a bullet-pointed-casual-observer only seeking out the top 40 hits.

As I understand it, and I’m sure I’m wholeheartedly incorrect, Jazz is an organic entity that exists only as a deviation from the norm, until it became it. Like the Blues, Jazz is my most distant musical relative, but that doesn’t make The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz that much less enjoyable.