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Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology [Box set]

Various Artists Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Price: $82.27 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 29, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Smithsonian/Folkways
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,386 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

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. JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology traces the turning
points in its history through its legendary innovators among them Armstrong, Ellington, Basie,
Parker, Gillespie, Davis, Hancock, Corea, Marsalis and notable styles, from early ragtime to
international modernism and every major movement in between. With 111 tracks that showcase
artists at their best and most influential, this remarkable anthology is the successor to the milestone
Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz of 1973, 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Reposting this as a review so that everyone can easily see it...

Thanks for the feedback on the track listings - this was an issue with the CDDB (CD Database) that media players use to fetch album information. We were informed that it as been corrected, so please try to refresh the information by re-inserting the CD. Please contact us at if you continue to experience this issue and we will do what we can to assist.

We'd also be happy to supply you with a spreadsheet of the song titles and artists if you would like to update the information in Windows Media Player manually (without typing them in).


David Horgan
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUSIC LOVERS, BUY THIS NOW!!! March 29, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I just got my copy in the mail and pardon me if I don't make it to work today, but I want to listen to each of the more
and one hundred tracks. Then I have to read the fabulous notes and look at each and every picture.
This collection is a MUST OWN for every music lover, even if you think you don't like Jazz. Somehow, Smithsonian Folkways and its fabulous advisers manage to make perfect, swinging sense out of America's very own music, you'll hear ragtime, Swing, Bop, Big Band and more. Each cut is a delight. Thank you, Smithsonian Folkways!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection with Valuable Commentary April 21, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Most anthologies seems to have been developed with little thought and extremely mixed quality. The Smithsonian's jazz collection is just the opposite, with a broad and interesting array of recordings accompanied by insightful commentary and some wonderful pictures. Packaged as a book with the CD's tucked in the back, the collection provides high quality sound and enjoyable and educational reading.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Place to Start! April 11, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I do not own this box set, nor do I intend to buy it. I own virtually all of the recordings contained on these six discs, so there's really need for me to add this to my collection. Neverthless, I did closely peruse the track listings.

This is not for the deep-rooted jazz fan, but rather for those interested in gaining a better sense of the rich and diverse nature of the art form. I could "nit-pick" about this artist being excluded or another being under-represented, but that would be rather absurd given the purpose of the project.

It is an intoduction, if you will. It provides a very comprehensive overview of the development of jazz and all of the subfields that have emerged over the past century. Most of the major artists and their most notable tunes are represented within this set.

Having purchased other packages from the Smithsonian/Folkways line and reading of this project's pedigree, I'm fairly confident that the accompanying book is both highly informative and entertaining within itself.

This collection strikes me as much more balanced than the set put out under the Ken Burns banner several years ago.

As another reviwer noted, if you're any sort of a music fan you'll want to add this to your collection. And should you wish to develop a deeper sense of jazz, this is your best point of departure.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding history of jazz October 2, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I debated whether to purchase the complete Ken Burns Jazz set or this one. This one is more expensive. But it is worth it, believe me. The book that comes with the CDs, giving the history of each song and the people who made it, is fascinating. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what you'd expect March 24, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
from our Smithsonian. My wife and I adore this collection and listen to it at every meal, it seems. I recommend the compendium that spans the decades. A worthy purchase.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jazz study February 24, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a fine anthology, nice complete experience of theJazz world. Highly interesting materials on the artists their recordings. Important study.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology November 28, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a terrific anthology with great recordings and a superb accompanying text. You can always get picky and find something or someone missing, but this anthology is broad and deep and extremely well researched. It would be something a pretty sophisticated jazz fan would really enjoy, as well as a jazz novice. A great Holiday gift. 5 Stars from me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This set is a must for every jazz lover and/or student.
These recordings are priceless. Limited to only six CDs, they cover the history of jazz and its types - but not thoroughly. This is the best 'sampling kit' I've ever found. Read more
Published 14 days ago by alex
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a fantastic set of jazz
This is a fantastic set of jazz. I've enjoyed listening to the music while reading the book for many hours. Each track has a significance which is detailed in the notes. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Vilhjálmur
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original.
Great history of jazz.
Published 3 months ago by Charlie B Vermont
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding product
This was purchased as a gift for a friend who is a jazz enthusiast. The reaction to the contents was excited by the quality of the product which was described as a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by William C. Edwards, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awesome!
I'm late bloomer to playing the Saxophone and generally learning about Jazz. I have tried to read a number of books about Jazz but they were too confusing for me. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Daniela
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent gift
This was a gift for a friend and he loved it! The collection has music of all ages of Jazz.
Published 10 months ago by May
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jazz Masterclass
When an institution as iconic as the Smithsonian brings out a selection of what their experts consider to be the most important jazz recordings in the history of recorded music one... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dr. Jules Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - you can't go wrong with this
I am something of a jazz fanatic and own thousands of jazz recordings of all kinds. My father bought me this box set as a gift and I approached it with some trepidation. Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. Cantor
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent & Informative survey
The writing and presentation are almost as good as the superb and well selected music. Kudos to all involved in it's production.
Published on July 17, 2011 by Kenneth L. Resen
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