When I was in high school, I only owned a handful of jazz CDs. One was a discount “intro to jazz” sampler called Columbia Jazz Masterpieces that lumped together Miles, Armstrong, Holiday, etc. It was like an “intro to rock” sampler that goes from “Johnny B. Goode” to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
I loved it.
This week, The New Yorker posted its 100 Essential Jazz Albums. It’s like a grown-ass version of my Columbia comp. Now I can compare notes with my own grown-ass collection and dive into juicy classics I haven’t fully explored, including these vintage Orchard-distributed sets (hubba hubba):
1. Fats Waller, “Handful of Keys”
(Proper, 2004; tracks recorded 1922-43).
9. Django Reinhardt, “The Classic Early Recordings in Chronological Order”
(JSP, 2000; tracks recorded 1934-39).
17. Coleman Hawkins, “The Essential Sides Remastered, 1929-39” (JSP, 2006).
27. Chick Webb, “Stomping at the Savoy”
(Proper, 2006; tracks recorded 1931-39).
30. James P. Johnson, “The Original James P. Johnson: 1942-1945 Piano Solos” (Smithsonian Folkways, 1996).