2020 Album Draft- Round 14 Pick 10- Box Sets- Hanspostcard selects- Ken Burns Jazz- The Story Of Americas Music.

First off- box sets – back when box sets were coming out like crazy- I was the undisputed King of Box Sets. I don’t know how many I own- but I do have a big tub which is full of booklets from the box sets I own. It was so bad that one day I was at a mall and the lady working at the store who was checking me out said that she remembered me- from when she worked at another record store- which was an hour and a half away – because I was the customer who always bought box sets, she said she remembered me because no one else bought box sets. I didn’t know how to feel about that.

Box sets have fallen out of favor- no doubt because of lack of sales. The best box sets to me were the ones that gave you something you didn’t have- unreleased songs, alternative takes, great live versions. The ones that were not all that great- a box set which just gave you say four discs of already released material- kind of a jumbo greatest hits.

I must give credit where it is due- I was mulling over which box set to take and Ken Burns Jazz- The Story of America’s Music- didn’t occur to me until the last pick of round 13 when Cincinnati Babyhead selected as his film- the Ken Burns Jazz documentary. I had been thinking of rock and country music box sets but when he selected that- a bell went off in my head. This box set- Ken Burns Jazz- a 5 disc set- was at the time I bought it 5 discs worth of music that I didn’t have. Perfect.

Ken Burns Jazz- The Story of America’s Music- is 5 discs- 94 tracks. It came out along with the documentary in 2000. This box is a great sampling of the history of jazz. Up until this time I owned a only a handful of jazz cd’s. The documentary opened my eyes and ears to music which was pretty foreign to me. I loved the series so I did the logical thing- I went out and not only bought this box set- but the 22 individual artist CD’s featuring the jazz immortals featured in the documentary [these weren’t a part of the box set I had to buy them all separately}

Ken Burns Jazz goes in chronological order- and covers the years 1917 until the mid 90’s. You get a sample of all the greats – Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Miles Davis- etc- all the greats are represented and it left me at least wanting to dig more deeply- so as mentioned before I also bought the 22 individual discs which were sold outside the box.

It is hard to believe that it was 20 years ago this month that the documentary and all this music came out. Over the past 20 years I have spent a lot of time with this box set- and the 22 other discs. This box is by no means the be all end all- it wets your appetite for more. My Mount Rushmore of Jazz performers- Louis Armstrong/ Miles Davis/ John Coltrane and Duke Ellington. Just missing the Top 4- Thelonious Monk and Lester Young

This brings an end to the 2020 Album Draft- I’d like to thank all the participants. I had great expectations for this project but due to all of them it far exceeded all my expectations. There were 139 selections and there was never a day when a review was sent in late- they really made it easy on me to get things out every day at 10AM EST. Also the picks and reviews they all sent in were outstanding. In some cases surprising. The one thing that stood at to me was the passion and love they had for the music they selected. There were a number of selections and artists that I wasn’t all that familiar with -it was great to be exposed to ‘new’ music. In the next week I plan on getting a post ready- with all the selections in the draft listed.

I am planning on two drafts for 2021- a movie draft beginning after the start of the year- and for the second half of 2021- another music one- this time the 2021 Singles Draft.


  1. Superb and significant final draft pick. This is the historic music that inspired the music, or the music that inspired the music, that many of us chose in our draft. After Cincinnati Babyhead’s pick, I started watching the series. It’s wonderful. Your box set sounds like an unrivaled collection of the most important jazz music.

    About the draft, I too am amazed that each pick was submitted an posted on time. Simply amazing. It was a privilege to be a part of this group. I’m looking forward to your recap post, and to next year’s drafts.

  2. I also, like run-sew-read, started to watch the series again. I only caught a few episodes when it was released. This would be a great set to have. Jazz takes you on a journey with winding roads till you get to the end.

    I rarely if ever participate in blog activities outside of my own blog… but this one was special and the upcoming ones will be also. I will miss coming here every day and checking out the selection. Still can’t believe it started in July because it seems like we just started.

    I hope everyone who celebrates the holiday has a great Thanksgiving and stays safe! Hope to see you in the next draft.

  3. Hans, I enjoyed learning you were/are King of the Box Sets. What an amazing collection of music you have. Thinking of your commitment to the jazz artists that were in Ken Burns’ Jazz series by buying their albums in addition to the ones with the series leaves me awestruck. I listened to the first two videos you posted. There is something hypnotic and compelling about the music. Billie’s singing and expressions and how she seamlessly meshes with the players gives me the goosebumps.

    Thank you for the nice things you said about the participants in this challenge. It’s been so enjoyable to participate and learn about so much good music and music-themed movies. Thank you for starting this and keeping it going so well. Looking forward to 2021!

  4. To echo the above, sounds like it would be a very good set… I still have the tv show pencilled in for a future “rainy weekend”.
    Thanks again Hans for running this event – it must’ve been a lot of work – and inviting me to be a part. It was both fun and interesting to take part in, and mostly to read the other people’s choices.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. This certainly puts the stamp on our endeavor. You will not being wanting anything playing this on your island. I have quite a few of the individual recordings from the show but not the box. I’m a little envious. Like Lisa I get goosebumps watching and listening to that Billie cut.
    Great work on the draft fella. A lot of fun, great choices and great folk. Later. CB

    • CB- Over the years I have borrowed the Jazz doc from the library system- after you took it last round- I went and ordered a copy myself- just came in the mail today!

  6. Great choice for the final draft. I guess I’m the opposite of you Hans, as I own exactly zero box sets. Actually, I’ve purchased very little music over the past 20 years or so, and now mostly stream it like all Millennials and Gen Z kids. Besides, I’m sent so much music for consideration for possible reviews that I barely have time to listen to the 150-plus albums I do own.

    I echo the others in saying thanks to you for hosting this album draft, which has been a challenge for my terribly undisciplined self, but also a lot of fun. It’s also been a pleasure getting to know this wonderful group of fellow bloggers who share my passion for music.

Comments are closed.