NPR logo How Well Do You Know The Jazz Canon?

How Well Do You Know The Jazz Canon?

Cover art to the forthcoming collection JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology. Smithsonian Folkways hide caption

toggle caption
Smithsonian Folkways

Test yourself: You get 25 10-11 second clips of music, from the 1920s to the 1990s, and 10 minutes to figure out either the artist or the song title of each. Or, if you're up for a serious challenge, you get 20 minutes for 111 songs.

These games come from Smithsonian Folkways Records, which just announced that it will finally be releasing its six-CD collection JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology in March. I say "finally" because this is a project seven years in the making: a new canonical collection seen as an update to the 1973 release The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz.

If you want to see what's on the list of 111 tracks, you can visit the Folkways website. Of course, that would be cheating, right? [Sporcle: 25 Song Quiz, 111 Song Quiz]


P.S.: The author is ashamed to admit that he could only identify 24 of 25 in about six minutes. And the final A section of "Stardust" was so obvious in retrospect, too. Gah!

NPR thanks our sponsors