After launching the Atlantic Jazz Gallery series in 1993, Rhino expanded the scope of its jazz licensing beyond Atlantic while also partnering with Sony, Polygram, Capitol/EMI and BMG for one disc each in the Master of Jazz series in 1996. The ambitious mission statement of the series was to appeal to both discerning jazz collectors AND ignorant beginners like myself. That credo is spelled out on the artwork of the in-store promotional sampler disc (below) that preceded the series. The first four proper volumes (1-4) in the Masters of Jazz series were released in July 1996 with the final three volumes (5-7) coming a couple months later in September 1996. Most discs have 18 songs spanning two or more decades making for a broad overview of each disc's theme.