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jazz: the smithsonian anthology boxed set


How do you put the history of jazz in a box? Not an easy task, but one Folkways Recordings was eager to take on. Using the historic The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz as the starting point, a team of experts set about selecting songs tracing 100 years of jazz. The set needed to be more than the music and include track notes by 30 leading jazz writers and a treasury of rarely-seen photographs.


Visual Dialogue referenced the type and colors of the original Folkways JAZZ LPs in creating an entirely new design for Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology. The package combines a 200-page book with 6 CDs in a translucent slipcase, befitting what Time magazine called “the single best introduction to America’s first great musical form.” In the words of producer Richard Burgess, “reaction to the Jazz set has been phenomenal—the look and feel has been a big part of the instant impact. I really think you nailed it.”