£17.99
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Trade in your item
Get a £4.01
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Oxford Companion to Jazz (Oxford Companions) Paperback – 21 Jul 2005


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£17.99
£14.70 £11.46

Frequently Bought Together

The Oxford Companion to Jazz (Oxford Companions) + A New History of Jazz + The History of Jazz
Price For All Three: £50.77

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £4.01
Trade in The Oxford Companion to Jazz (Oxford Companions) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £4.01, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA; Reprint edition (21 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195183592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195183597
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 6.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 439,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This book contains a collection of some of the very best writing available concerning jazz."—Dr. Lee Bash, Jazz Educators Journal

"A milestone among publications dedicated to jazz." —Francesco Martinelli, Musica Jazz (Italy)

"Despite the wide range, the focus is clear—the unique American sound of jazz and those giants most closely associated with its creation and production."—Jeff Waggoner, The New York Times Book Review

"Probably the most effective historical panorama to date"—Richard Sudhalter, Commentary

"Kirchner managed to enlist many of the finest writers in the field to contribute to this volume.... The joy of reading this book comes from the authoritative essays by major writers—Dan Morgenstern, John McDonough, Gunther Schulluer, Mark Tucker, Scott DeVeaux, to mention just a representative handful.... For all serious jazz collections, both general and academic.—Choice

"This is an effective single-volume device, leading current listeners to the music while including enough newer scholarship to retain the interest of connoisseurs."—Library Journal

"More than a treatise on jazz, this book is a compilation of articles on all phases of the music, contributed by musicians and professional writers who speak for the art firsthand. Highly recommended for everyone interested in jazz."—Benny Carter

"No book on jazz has ever attempted the scope of this monumental collection of 60 studies by 59 writers. Commissioned and organized by editor Bill Kirchner into an interlocking mosaic, its 800 pages examine and evaluate every aspect of the origins, ongoing development, and offshoots of jazz—and its myriad personalities—to a degree which makes this the one indispensable publication in the field. The Oxford Companion to Jazz is both a reference work for the serious scholar and a rewarding book to be dipped into by the casual reader"—George Avakian

"This work is an effective single-volume device, leading current listeners to the music while including enough newer scholarship to retain the interest of connoisseurs."—Library Journal

"An ambitious panorama of genres, biographies and analyses.... A durable addition to the literature of music...these essays should lead to an irresistible urge to hear more."—Nat Hentoff, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"The Oxford Companion to Jazz probes every aspect of the music, from the rhythmic virtuosity of ragtime and stride piano, to the transformation of jazz from music for happy feet to cerebral bebop for the mind.... Like jazz itself, The Oxford Companion to Jazz marries form and imagination."—John Mark Eberhart, The Kansas City Star

About the Author

Bill Kirchner is a composer-arranger, saxophonist, jazz historian, record and radio producer, educator, and leader of the Bill Kirchner Nonet. He has won both Grammy and NAIRD Indie awards, and he teaches jazz composition and jazz history at the New School University, the Manhattan School of Music, and New Jersey City University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Feb 2001
Format: Hardcover
Whether a hardbop fan or a student uncovering the ropes like myself this book is a fascinating and informative choice. It employs the easy to digest form of dipping in and out, this enables the knowledge to seep in. It cpvers the crutial events and poeple, everything I've needed to know and more enjoyably than most other reading I've come accross. On the down side, not much but it doesn't venture in to deep or toward any of the lesser known fields, but that may well be speicalist reading anyway.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Feb 2001
Format: Hardcover
Whether a hardbop fan or a student uncovering the ropes like myself this book is a fascinating and informative choice. It employs the easy to digest form of dipping in and out, this enables the knowledge to seep in. It covers the crutial events and poeple, everything I've needed to know and more enjoyably than most other reading I've come accross. The contributions are well structed. On the down side, not much but it doesn't venture in to deep or toward any of the lesser known fields, but that may well be speicalist reading anyway.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. T. Swain on 2 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great disappointment. I had seen glowing reviews, in particular about the section devoted to European Jazz, a much neglected area in jazz reference works. Although the section was well written, there were far too many generalistions for my taste.
The book would probably do well in the coffee table market, but I can not see it being much help to the enthusiast.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This book is a gold mine! 21 Jun 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Somewhere on earth there is probably a jazz musician who does not know Bill Kirchner. But he or she must be in deep cover; Kirchner is known and esteemed by jazz people all over the U.S. and abroad. Oxford could not have chosen a better editor for this compact but wide-ranging volume than Kirchner: composer, arranger, saxophonist, historian, record and radio producer, educator, leader of the Bill Kirchner Nonet, and all around class act. The book begins with an astute pairing of historical essays -- Samuel A. Floyd Jr.'s "African Roots of Jazz" and William H. Youngren's "European Roots of Jazz" -- and with vigor and style takes it from there. This is not a mechanical or academic collection. Rather it reflects the savvy, open-mindedness, erudition, and general panache of its editor's musical intelligence. Like the finest of the big bands, the result is unique, quirky, highly flavored and accented -- and not to be missed!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Great for the Novice and Specialist 2 Mar 2003
By Lauren S. Kahn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, I will be up front about this: Bill Kirchner is married to my sister. So, I am biased. He is a very nice guy and my sister is nice too. I wouldn't harm them.
Having said that, my sister (who is also a musician) may be married to the author but I know very little about jazz. I fall into the category of people who have heard about the major musicians but really do not understand improvisation; I can't read music. So, I bought this book as a family obligation and with some trepidation.
Wow! This, I can read! The articles are well written and even a jazz ignoramus like me can understand most of them. If you are a novice as I am, you will learn a lot and also be able to understand more of what you are hearing when you listen to the music. I know I want to buy more DVD's--including Bill Kirchner's, of course.
For those of you who know jazz, I am certain that some of the articles in this comprehensive book will tell you things that you never knew. Others will enhance what you already knew. This book should be in everyone's history library--and not just in the libraries of jazz fanatics--because jazz is the gift America has given to the music world and is synthesized from contributions by many of our immigrant groups.
Enjoy and listen up!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Where's Gary Giddins? 22 Sep 2005
By Ben Sonnenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This a valuable book. How could it not be with more than 800 pages and contributions from such exemplary jazz writers as Gunther Schuler and Dan Morgenstern? But how much better a guide it would be if it also included articles by our best jazz critic, Gary Giddins. I strongly recommend Giddins's Weather Bird and Duke Ellington as supplements to this volume.

Ben Sonnenberg, New York
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A great compendium of early to mid fifties jazz! 8 Sep 2005
By Hugh Mckee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This gets three stars due to its lack of material dealing with the current scene. The stuff on the fifties and and earlier is the main focus of this book, with some excellent discussion of particular players. It is Amerocentric, I guess thats understandable as jazz is an American idiom, but there is a lot of great jazz in Europe and Japan too.

Perhaps a better title woudl have been "The Oxford Companion to classic American Jazz."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Jazz 101 ... and 201, 301, 401, and part of the graduate course 26 Jun 2013
By Eric C. Sedensky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You've bought a bunch of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis recordings, and you've listened to them over and over. You've taken some classes on arranging and improvisation at the local community college. You've honed your chops in a local band or two, maybe even performing on a regular basis. Or maybe, you haven't done anything except become interested in jazz and now you're just naturally curious and inquisitive about it. Maybe you just feel that a broader knowledge of jazz music would help you enjoy it more, so you want to understand: how did jazz get from where it started to where it is today? What musicians played with what other musicians and how did their styles emerge and evolve? How did rags become swing, become be-bop, become post-bop, become free, become modern? What record producers signed which artists and what songs became "standards" and when? In other words, you want to understand jazz history, beginning to end. In that case, this is the book for you.

This book is around 800 pages divided into about 75 different chapters (essays). Each chapter is accompanied by a storied black-and-white photo of a piece of the subject matter, the photos by themself being intriguing and worthwhile. (1,000 words each?) The text covers the history of jazz, more or less chronologically, from its inception up to about the year 2000. It contains many of the stories and anecdotes that most jazz musicians will be familiar with from reading CD liner notes and Googling or Wiki-ing things they were curious about when they heard them, but it will also relate much more back story and lines of interconnectedness that may have been missed along the way. I was particularly fascinated by learning which musicians played with what other famous musicians in their formative years, and the collaborations and recordings that led to them becoming influential and important. The level of detail in this book is incredible, which for a devoted student of jazz such as myself is a godsend, but for more casual jazz fans might at times be daunting. For collectors of recordings, I don't think there is a more thorough resource listing of important recordings anywhere, with the possible exception of The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition. (The Penguin Guide being arguably more useful in its alphabetized listing by artist, the Oxford companion being more useful in its linear structure and the aforementioned detailing of artist relationships, information which is much more difficult to extract from the Penguin volume.) For identifying and filling gaps in one's personal discography, I think the Oxford companion is indispensable.

Each of the essays is written by a different jazz expert or critic, from Wall Street Journal writers and record company copy writers to ad men and self-taught music experts. With so many essays over such a broad spectrum going into such depth and detail, you would expect there to be a lot of repetition and rehashing of stories and information, but the editor, Bill Kirchner, has done an admirable and efficient job of putting these essays in an extremely readable order, with necessary edits (probably) throughout to limit redundancy. The way these essays are assembled has the added advantage that while there is much to be gained from reading them in order, it is not required that they be read in order at all. It is easy enough to skip to the subject matter and detail one wishes to explore and read that essay and related essays in any order desired, saving time and effort but still covering the jazz subjects one is interested in.

This is a book that I took the time to read carefully and completely, and I still feel like I need to go through it once or twice more to receive the full dose of knowledge contained here. Although I will be putting this book on my shelf, I will keep it handy when purchasing and listening to recordings as I continue my jazz education and journey. Go ahead and get started on your master's degree in jazz by buying and reading this five star book.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback