Various Artists

Listening to Jazz

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The black-and-white photo on the front cover, with young children in a classroom being "taught" how to listen to jazz, might be a bit presumptuous, especially in modern times. But for those who already enjoy vintage early-period swing and big bands, this is material you know that you can pass on to a new generation. Kids certainly can enjoy the fun stuff like Louis Armstrong's "Potato Head Blues," the simplicity of Duke Ellington's "C Jam Blues," and perhaps even the jovial Fletcher Henderson evergreen "Christopher Columbus." In bulk, the 21 cuts on this single CD are very sophisticated. The Ellington material included would be over most kids' heads, while the Count Basie sides might be easier to digest. Not at all a classroom tool, this nonetheless is a decent set of classic jazz that is a good starter set for a teenager or college student who sincerely wants to learn the roots of black classical American music.

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