Like most lists, Chicago Magazine‘s list of the 40 best albums by Chicago artists is a combination of sensible choices (Jesus Lizard, Liz Phair), stuff that probably has to be on there even if it’s horrible (Styx), all’s-fair cheating (Neko Case and Louis Armstrong are pushing the definition a bit), and really intriguing surprises (going to have to locate The Karol Stoch Band: Fire in the Mountains: Polish Mountain Fiddle Music, Volume 1).

All in all it’s a pretty good generalist blend, though like everyone I have my favorites that didn’t make the list (Es Tiempo, Alla; How Will You, Azita). I was, however, disappointed to see classical excluded, though I can see where it would complicate things too much. Anyway, a couple suggestions aside from the innumerable CSO/Lyric recordings:

* Something by Eighth Blackbird (Strange Imaginary Animals is the most likely candidate, though I’m partial to Beginnings)

* The Oak/Mississippi River Suite, Florence Price

* Three Pieces for Blues Band and Symphony Orchestra, William Russo