"Hello Landcroft House, it's Robert Wyatt from Soft Machine and a load of really great solo records and stuff here..."
"Hey Robert. Thanks for calling. Could you tell me one thing?"
"It would be my pleasure."
"OK, what’s the greatest record ever made?"
"Well, for me it's Such Sweet Thunder by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, 1957. It’s the Shakespeare suite, not the greatest piece of music ever, but Ellington’s visceral physicality is matched with a melodic ingenuity and this incredible sense of architecture. These are miniature, masterful compostions, beautifully played. He wrote pieces for the musicians that played on it, so the music is individually tailored. The record is a distilled example of everything that was good about 20th century American music. But, importantly, don’t get put off by the oom-pah track at the start. Does that sound good?"
"Perfect! Thanks Robert."
"Thank you, Landcroft House..."