Jazz listening: Is it about the music? Or is it about the sound?

The thread title says it all. I can listen to jazz recordings for hours on end but can scarcely name a dozen tunes.  My jazz collection is small but still growing.  Most recordings sound great.  On the other hand, I have a substantial rock, pop and country collection and like most of us, have a near encyclopedic knowledge of it.  Yet sound quality is all over the map to the point that many titles have become nearly unlistenable on my best system.  Which leads me back to my question: Is it the sound or the music?  Maybe it’s both. You’ve just got to have one or the other!