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Holiday gift guide 2010: Top 5 music picks

Music is appreciated throughout the year and makes a great holiday gift for family and friends. Here are some suggestions – ranging from Ken Burns' 'Baseball' soundtrack to Dave Brubeck – recommended by the Monitor staff. Click on the link at the end of each item to purchase on amazon.com, and a small percentage will go to support the Monitor.

- Gloria Goodale, John Kehe, Peter Rainer & Chris GaylordStaff writers

1. Ken Burns: Baseball and National Parks soundtracks ($11.98 and $18.98)

To watch a Ken Burns documentary is to be transported to an America gone by. Much of the conveying is achieved by the exquisite, period-correct soundtrack music. To coincide with this year's "Tenth Inning" – Part 2 of Burns's baseball saga – the eclectic "Baseball" soundtrack (from 1994) has been rereleased. You'll hear famous home run calls like Bobby Thompson's 1951 shot heard round the world, classics like "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (versions by Carly Simon and Dr. John), and music from Duke Ellington and others.

Last year's Burns documentary "The National Parks" takes us on a grand tour via its all-music soundtrack. Touches of Celtic, Appalachian, native American, Mexican, folk, and bluegrass conjure up stirring visions of the rivers, canyons, and soaring peaks of the nation's great parks. American music at its best.

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