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Various Artists, ‘Watch the Closing Doors: A History of New York’s Musical Melting Pot Vol. 1 (1945-59)’ (Year Zero)

On the heels of canon-smashing comp Dirty Water: The Birth of Punk Attitude, U.K. journalist Kris Needs returns with a six-volume history of popular music in New York City (plus a 72-page booklet of attitudinal scholarship). These two CDs focus on a ’40s–’50s moment when jazz, blues, and folk mingled with doo-wop, early rock’n’roll, and avant-garde composition, linking John Cage to Nina Simone to Frankie Lymon.