A nice big collection of early jazz on Riverside and associated labels, originally released on lp in 1956 (I own the vinyl version). The selections are heavily weighted towards the 1920's, but with some pieces from the '30's, '40's, and, on the last side/disc, the '50's. The selections are arranged thematically, beginning with "Backgrounds", then on to Ragtime, the Blues, New Orleans, Boogie-Woogie, South Side Chicago and Harlem, on to the New York style and the New Orleans revival. More balanced that Capitol's early 1960's compilation Thesaurus of Classic Jazz (a great collection in it's own right) in that it rightly emphasises seminal black performers such as Armstrong, Morton. King Oliver and James P. Johnson, and a slew of less known artists.