Time-Life surveyed a number of jazz scholars and as a result put together 28 three-record album sets dedicated to one jazz ‘giant’. Each one includes a 30 page booklet. I subscribed to this series and would get one set each couple months in the late 1970’s to early 80’s.
I’m now going back to those records and giving them another listen and the booklets another read, and will present a tune or two from each one in a series of Discovering Jazz programs. They are virtually all from the beginnings of jazz—mostly from the swing era.
I’m also going to take a detour and throw in one Canadian jazz artist each time (just because).
This week, you’ll hear about Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Joe Sullivan, Johnny Dodds, and Bunny Berrigan. One of the tracks has been described as a ‘train wreck’.
I’ll also talk a bit about the origins of the recording industry in Canada, and play the best known Canadian recording artist of the early 20th Century—even if nobody except for Louis Armstrong ever thought of him as really being “jazz”.