It's when we get to the fifth CD -- the one that covers jazz's final decades -- that the choices become very questionable and reflect on Columbia's desire to make a buck. The fifth disc in the set contains hits by Armstrong, Weather Report, Stan Getz, Grover Washington, and Herbie Hancock, as well as material by backward-looking musicians such as Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Left out are many innovators from the '60s to the present, including Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sun Ra, Julius Hemphill, and important experimental artists connected with today's New York "downtown scene" -- John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Mark Dresser, and Joe Maneri. It's inexcusable that this set should stop so far from the present, even when you take into account that Burns is gunning for a mass audience. He's either ignorant or gutless, or both.
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