Various Artists: The War (Soundtrack)

While JAZZ was a very controversial depiction of jazz history, there is little to complain about with the soundtrack of Ken Burns’ recent seven-part series The War. The single-disc soundtrack (Legacy) has 17 selections utilized in the World War II documentary, alternating vintage recordings by Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Bing Crosby and Duke Ellington with more somber newly recorded performances by Norah Jones, Bill Charlap, Wynton Marsalis and classical musicians. The deluxe four-CD box, also titled The War (Legacy), has the single disc plus two CDs of mostly swing-era recordings from the 1940s and a disc of classical music that relates to the period. The music overall is not essential (since the older jazz recordings are available elsewhere) but it is well put together.