365 Days of Album Recommendations – Apr 18

Bix Beiderbecke – 20 Classic Tracks

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I stumbled on this particular release quite by accident, but I’m rather glad I did, as it actually offers an outstandingly seamless point-of-entry into the world of Bix Beiderbecke’s music.

The masters are great, the song selection is exceedingly strong, and it’s got a great deal of instrumental music across its 20 tracks, which is always my preference when it comes to Bix in the mix …

I should note tho, that it’s a collection that won’t please everyone, as it doesn’t have some of his more commonly anthologized star turns … but as a very solid snapshot of the man’s devastating talent, Parlophone UK should be commended for their curation efforts here …

For those not familiar, Bix was one of jazz’s greatest early instrumental stars, and can be credited in the same breath with Louis Armstrong as being one of the contributing inventors of what would become the early jazz canon. His style continued to be hugely influential despite his early death at the age of 28, and in his moody mid-range minimalism as compared to Armstrong’s most histrionic high-register style, we can see a precursor to the Miles Davis vs. Charlie Parker Yin-Yang that was to come a couple decades later.

Honestly, you should just listen to any Bix you can get, but this is a great please to start if you don’t already have your favorites.


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