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The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings) Paperback – 28 Oct 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1744 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 7th Revised edition edition (28 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141014164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141014166
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 6.6 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 912,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Impressive and exhaustive. ("Billboard") --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Richard Cook has been writing about music since the 1970s and has contributed to NME, THE WIRE, and THE SUNDAY TIMES. He has also been a record industry executive and is a regular broadcaster. He lives in London, W4. Brian Morton is the author and co-author of a number of books. He is also a regular broadcaster and presents BBC Radio 3's IMPRESSIONS. He lives in West Lothian. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Aaltonen figured as a great voice in the European jazz of the '70s and his retreat from prominence in the '80s and '90s must be accounted a major disappointment. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent guide. However, don't be so quick to chuck the old editions away as many of the CD's go out of print, and later editions drop them from their index. With so many re-issues each year, I imagine it is an especially difficult task to keep abreast of the discographies of jazz artists.
The biographies are good. I especially like the fact that they have included so many European, Asian, African and South American artists. Jazz is truly global and most guides tend to focus to heavily on American jazz, treating jazz in other countries as step children. Not so with the Penguin Guide, it gives deservedly high marks to Tomasz Stanko of Poland, The Ganellin, Cekasin, Tarasov trio of Russia and Lithuania, etc. It may not be everyone's bag, but this guide certainly gives you the opportunity to explore new jazz sounds by providing illuminating descriptions of music the world over.
And, of course, there is everything you want to know about the quintessential jazz greats in the way of their recordings on CD. This guide will help you to form a CD library that will be the envy of your jazz friends. The star-rating system is a fairly good gauge of what to buy and not to buy. Plus, this guide give you juicy insights so that you can impress your friends with arcane bits of information.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
For anyone interested in tracking down the major works (and less well-known works) of any significant artist in the history of jazz this encyclopaedic tome is an absolute gem - second to none.
Other books may provide the reader with comprehensive discographies and general overviews of an artist's work (e.g. AllMusic Guide To Jazz, Virgin Encyclopedia Of Jazz) but what these books singularly lack is the ability to inform the reader about the music itself - i.e. what the individual works actually sound like (especially in relation to other works produced by the same artist at different stages of their career).
The Penguin Guide To Jazz On CD, on the other hand, is one of those rare books that succeeds in engaging the reader in active dialogue. The authors' sometimes outspoken views on what is essentially a very subjective matter are a real joy to read (and to take issue with on occasion). Even where you disagree with their views on one artist, CD, or track you know you absolutely must see what they've got to say on the others. Not only is the book very informative - detailing each artist's career via their respective works - but the caustic, dry wit of the authors (which permeates this work throughout) will have you chuckling out loud from time to time: a constant reminder not to take things too seriously... this is jazz after all.
This is everything a good guide to jazz should be - comprehensive, witty, informative, argumentative, and - most importantly - it invites the reader to seek out the music for him or herself and to formulate your own opinion. This is a great book on jazz for novices and aficionados alike - if you are going to buy one book on jazz this year make sure it is this one for it will be an invaluable source of new territories to explore and a comprehensive reference work for years to come. Get with it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Ferguson on 14 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
When it comes to Jazz, the Penguin Guide can't be beat. It offers the most complete, up-to-date catalog available on the market, covering an exceedingly broad range of jazz artists from around the world. Unlike other discographies, which tend to be American centered, Richard Cook and Brian Morton cover many European, Asian, Latin and African musicians, which will greatly expand your musical range. The guide tends to cover CD's that are in print, so out-of-print CD's and albums are not covered, except in the lengthy biographies the authors have prepared. They also have a very good rating system, which will help you to decide what to pick to add to your collection. I have found these guides to be invaluable aids over the years, keeping my past catalogs, as out-of-print CD's tend to be dropped from the discographies to make room for new releases.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Aug. 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A truly magnificent work and invaluable reference. What other reviewers of this book have mistaken for pomposity is actually a dry wit and unabashed critical eye. This is the only book on jazz recordings available which is both a buying guide and a collection of jazz criticism. The latter, so often misunderstood and underappreciated, is what makes the book joyful as well as informative to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Nov. 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here in Spain is difficult to hear Jazz, only a few FM programs late at night... So you ended up buying 90% of the CD's without solid references (you knew this or that musician, a friend's opinion, etc...) UNTIL I found this book. Not only gives a detailed (and subjective) view of each record, but when I compared with the CD's I already had I agreed in a high percentage. Now we call it as The Bible...
As other reviewers stated, what about a CD-ROM copy? With hypertext to link records/musicians, complete track list (and cover images...) Of course I also want the printed copy so I can have it in my bathroom... :-)
Waiting anxiously for the new release...
(Hi, how about an 'upgrade' option to the owners of previous releases?... Something like SW vendors do, you send the cover of the 'old' book and you get a rebate...)
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