Friday, June 12, 2009

A Guide to Chronological Classics

This is an abbreviations guide and directions for the methods used in reviewing Chronological Classics albums. I hope I be able to cover all releases by this great French label that doesn't have any website or reliable reference on the internet, or in print. My aim is filling this huge informational gap between jazz lovers and almost 1000 CDs that have been published by this label. This is dedicated to master Ellington himself.
--Ehsan Khoshbakht

Classics 1119 <-- here the catalog number appears, starts from 500 and ends at 1470.

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra <--Name of the performer or the band.

19**-19** <--Years covered by this compilation (all before 1960s and beginning of the LP era).

Release Date <-- official release, from 1988 till 2007.

Rating: A , B, or C <-- SEE BELOW
A: An essential classic jazz record that belongs to every collection. Should be heard before going under the ground!
B: A very good record, but some items may be repeated in other available records or with some minor problems from technical point of view and sound quality.
C: Only for collectors and completest. The music or the compilation doesn't have much to say.

Other notable musicians in this CD <-- Great names among the sidemen, some of them may have their own CD in Classics series.

Materials taken from these label(s) <-- these CDs are all compiled from different sources, so naturally labels could be different for every session that is been used in the Classics CD.

Number of sessions <-- Number of sessions covered by the CD.

Includes unissued materials <-- If there is any unissued material (I mean released by classics for the first time) that would be include here.

Track Highlights <-- My recommended tracks in the album.

Other Ratings <-- I put two other ratings here, one unreliable and commercial ratings of Allmusic (usually by Scott Yanow) which is from total five star (and sometimes glorified with an AMG pick), and The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, Sixth Edition, by Richard Cook and Brian Morton which has a four-star rating system, more reliable than any other source that I know.

Introduction <-- a short introduction about the life and times of the artist and the events that has been proceeds to these sessions. It may be repeat in different works of an artist from a same period. For instance, all Duke Ellington albums, issued by classics, from 1947 to 1951 (five albums) will have the same introduction.

The Album <-- A brief introduction to the album, artist, tracks, sidemen and historical details. Some details are borrowed from original liner notes, Penguin book, or AMG.

Other partially issue or reissues Total Time <-- Total time of the CD.

Details <-- A standard session-based and chronological description of the album, exactly like the original album’s printed information. That includes musicians, date, place, songs, composers, index number.

Last Update: October, 12th, 2009.
© All rights reserved for Ehsan Khoshbakht.

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