Because the personnel include Louis Armstrong, Lillian Hardin, and Johnny and Baby Dodds, the 1923 recordings of King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, originally made for the Gennett, OKeh, Columbia, and Paramount labels, have been reissued numerous times as formats have changed and technology has improved. Here, the Canadian label Off the Record (distributed in the U.S. by Archeophone Records) puts 37 tracks on two CDs, having made transfers from the most pristine 78-rpm discs available.
It's a tall order to compile the best classical music of the twentieth century, but EMI has selected its top 100 classics for this six-disc set, and it's difficult to argue with most of the choices. Without taking sides in the great ideological debates of the modern era – traditionalist vs. avant-garde, tonal vs. atonal, styles vs. schools, and so on – the label has picked the composers whose reputations seem most secure at the turn of the twenty-first century and has chosen representative excerpts of their music. Certainly, the titans of modernism are here, such as Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók, Dmitry Shostakovich, Sergey Prokofiev, Claude Debussy, and Benjamin Britten, to name just a few masters, but they don't cast such a large shadow that they eclipse either their more backward-looking predecessors or their more experimental successors.
This 6CD set contains 100 tracks of popular organ music from the catalogues of EMI Classics and Virgin Classics performed by some of the world’s finest organists on a wide variety of instruments from all over the UK and Continental Europe.