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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate guide to jazz on CD.
The 9th edition of the 'Jazz Bible' maintains the high standards of previous volumes. Its 1600-plus pages contain perceptive, witty and knowledgeable reviews of 14,000 jazz CDs including 2000 new discs in this 2008 edition. There is also a moving tribute to the late Richard D. Cook(1957-2007) who gets awarded the highest accolade of a 'crown' from his co-author, Brian...
Published on 14 Nov 2008 by Jazzrook

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4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's Big!
And big is about as positive as I can say about this dreadful book. It does not tell us much about the recordings, the star rating reveals an extremely (not as extreme as Wynton Marsalsa's attempt to preserve jazz in that very narrow band of style that he approves of) conservative view of jazz. There is also a lot of churning out of the received wisdom of jazz. For...
Published on 16 July 2012 by Numinous Ugo


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate guide to jazz on CD., 14 Nov 2008
By 
Jazzrook (Purbrook , Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
The 9th edition of the 'Jazz Bible' maintains the high standards of previous volumes. Its 1600-plus pages contain perceptive, witty and knowledgeable reviews of 14,000 jazz CDs including 2000 new discs in this 2008 edition. There is also a moving tribute to the late Richard D. Cook(1957-2007) who gets awarded the highest accolade of a 'crown' from his co-author, Brian Morton.
The hours of concentrated thought and hard-listening that's gone into this monumental series from the two authors since 1992 is awe-inspiring and the latest, endlessly browsable edition is an indispensable guide for any serious jazz collector.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Bible !, 11 Dec 2008
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J. D. Naylor "jazzfan" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
An essential reference work for all true jazz officionados.As opposed to the "Allmusic guide to jazz" which focuses pretty much on American jazz the Penguin guide takes a broader view of world jazz.It features information on most of the significant British jazz musicians as well as European and of course American musicians.The only fault is that it does lack depth on the American scene which is where the AMG comes in handy.But if it's Tracey,Wellins and Wheeler or Garbarek,Stanko and Stenson then this is the place to look.My advice if you have the cash is to make a big space on your shelf and get both the All music and Penguin guides to jazz.With both of them you have pretty much all the bases covered.Buy only one and you'll have a dentists nightmare (gaps all over the place!).Buy and be engrossed.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The jazz bible, 21 Jan 2007
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J. Patterson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is simply the most important publication ever issued on jazz. It's indispensible both to anyone with even the slightest interest and to jazz aficionados. I've been using it for years and it has never led me astray. And besides being an almost infallible guide to which CDs to buy, it contains a wealth of information and informed comment. It's also refreshingly open to any style of music that might conceivably come under the heading "jazz". And it isn't just a reference either: you can sit down and read through it for pleasure. I love it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Jazz guide to own, 6 Dec 2009
By 
Jl Adcock "John Adcock" (Ashtead UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
The ninth edition of the definitive guide to jazz recordings is as good as previous editions I've owned. It's a chunky book in every sense of the word, crammed full of witty, pithy reviews by Cook and Morton - people who clearly don't pull any punches when it comes to the world of music reviews. It's hard to know how the format and content could be improved.

That said, there are still more than a few omissions of new recordings by artists featured in the book, and some jazz folk you'd expect to be mentioned don't get a look in at all.

There is more than a little sense of sadness in the ninth edition though, marking as it does the first edition to be published and updated after the untimely death of author Richard Cook. Here was a man who clearly loved his music and took the job of writing about it seriously, but could also have fun at the same time. It's not going to be the same without him, so one wonders about the future direction of this labour of love.

Definitive and essential for any enthusiast of the genre, or for anyone who wants to actually know about how to write about music.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent guide but........., 3 May 2009
This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
This is a very good guide to jazz music, expertly researched and written. But i had some problems with it despite these grand qualifications.

There seemed to be some problem with reviews of "jazz " albums more on the fringes of jazz for example - world music and other cross over musical influences. The editors have some kind of personal view of the type of jazz that should be included and given good reviews and therefore star rated. Therefore they have a subjective view of what they consider jazz music to be. This sadly excludes what a lot listeners of music would consider really good jazz. The jazz guitarist pat metheny and most other jazz guitar players come off really badly in this biased compendium. jazz fusion is regarded as a turd to be stepped over.

For music fans new to jazz this is giving a biased view. For those with the same Conservative taste or elitist prejudices it just re enforces them. For those in the know at least a little it should be just considered a rough guide and not a bible.

The criticisms get in the way of exploring the music. The music that is battered or just plain omitted (ie Allan Holdsworth & Kurt Rosenwinkel amongst others)just shows the tunnel vision approach of the reviewers.

The discographies by the artists fall far short of being definitive and the rating system is absurd. I would recommend you ignore those completely.

The book often falls into the Wynton Marsalis trap of what is good jazz and bad jazz. reading between the lines the reviewers come across as being very conservative and also go to the extreme of progressive jazz (I like progressive jazz) The more middle ground seems to get ignored.

taste is down to the listener, the listener doesn't want to know the personal taste of the reviewer because it may not be their personal taste. jazz is a broad church.

Luckily i spent an afternoon in Waterstones where i could spend some time with the contents of this door stopper of a book. In the end i put it back on the shelf glad that i had not forked out 35 for someone who wished to rant over MY bad taste in music.

Unlike the reviewers i can appreciate and enjoy acoustic and electric jazz from all eras of jazz. They seem to forget that all the music needs is to be "musical" no matter how complex or simple, technically proficient or not (preferably proficient)and that musical depth is a relative thing.

Definitely worth buying, but on the condition that a lot of music which is really good is brushed almost under the carpet or sidelined as not being worthy. In a sense it is overly critical - i thought the music should do the talking. Keep an open mind when reading this book.

Just in case anyone is wondering what i listen to: John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Keith jarrett, Brad mehldau, Jim Hall, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Metheny, Adam Rogers, Anthony Braxton, Derek bailey, Rosenwinkel, Django, tribal tech, Edward Vesala, John Surman, Gordon Beck, Ornette etc etc
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but still essential, 9 Dec 2010
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This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
I give four stars for the fact this book exists at all. In a world where the shelves in Waterstones and WH Smith etc are chocka with bios on utterly worthless pop stars and rock bands. The Penguin Guide to Jazz stands out as a beacon to the fact we haven't all lapsed into retardedness. In general it is an indispensible guide to jazz newbies but to those of us who've got more than A Kind of Blue and A Love Supreme in our collections it often falls short. For example, it gives relatively short shrift to important characters of the hard bop era (my particular bias) with no more than a couple of pages on the seriously underrated Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan and Donald Byrd. Then again it tends to stick with the received wisdom that certain 'classics' are worthy of their reputation (e.g. Love Supreme) while totally ignoring less celebrated (but excellent) albums by major players e.g. Freddie Hubbard's 'Backlash and 'What's New' by Sonny Rollins. That's not just my opinion. Check out Allmusic.com's reviews for a start. But, this edition is still an essential purchase for anyone with more than a passing interest in jazz, more so as the 10th edition falls way short of the general quality of the series.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my most picked up books., 15 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
This is the kind of book that will remain on your coffee table, in front of your hi-fi speakers, and next to your rows of CDs for decades to come.

It's not a book you decide to pick up and read, but one you go to, to look up an artist and are still sat there hours later, flicking from front to back, deciding on your next CD purchases. Yes it is not complete (if it was it would be dozens of volumes!) and yes it is bias in the authors favour (what review of anything isn't?) - as previous reviewers have said, you can't please every jazz-head; the authors state as much in the preface.

However it is the ultimate first reference on just about anything jazz, and for [], an absolute steal.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, 11 Dec 2010
By 
SV (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
I am not a jazz expert although I wanted to make a start in learning to appreciate this amazing art form. This book is the most comprehensive of all as far as its comprehensive coverage is concerned. Not for the ultraNOOB who wants to know where to begin, but no doubt will be referring this for many enjoyable years to come.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost the Complete Guide, 2 April 2009
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G. R. Chapman (Boston, Lincolnshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
This is an excellent publication for anyone who wants to develop their knowledge of Jazz and build a comprehensive library. The late Richard Cook and Brian Morton have continued to provide a comprehensive guide of who's who in the jazz world. There are ommissions and often cynical comment, but one never knows whether this is 'tongue in cheek' Cook and Morton view of the jazz world or biting comment. With the resurgence of vinyl (surely THE only way to listen to jazz??) the vinyl pressings should also be included along with the silver disc listings?
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grooveyard, 21 Jan 2010
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This review is from: The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition (Paperback)
For those with a life long love of jazz this is indispensable. So you think you know the best available jazz & jazz musicians well think again The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings will open up an in depth wealth of fresh listening.
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The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition by Richard Cook (Paperback - 30 Oct 2008)
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