NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Verve Records has released a special compilation CD in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts' expansion of its NEA Jazz Masters program.
Since its inception in 1982, the NEA has selected several jazz musicians annually and honored them for their life's work and contributions to the music genre.
The 2004 awardees will be honored Friday night at the 31st annual conference of the International Association for Jazz Education. They are guitarist Jim Hall, drummer Chico Hamilton, pianist Herbie Hancock, arranger-composer Luther Henderson and singer Nancy Wilson ("Day In, Day Out").
The "NEA Jazz Masters" CD set features liner notes by jazz critic Nat Hentoff, the first non-musician to be honored as an NEA Jazz Master, and nearly two hours of recordings by many past Jazz Masters, including Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Ahmad Jamal, Abbey Lincoln, Sarah Vaughan, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and Joe Henderson.