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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Guide on the market
This is a brilliant guide. It is well written; the authours write generously and intelligently about the artists covered. They tend to dwell on positives, and focus on the quality output in an artist's career. There is none of the petty bitchiness that you often get from British hacks, or the jazz snobbery you get from many "purists". The writers have great...
Published on 28 May 2001

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars can't agree - good but only for the jazz train spotters..
no i can't agree with the other two gushing uk reviews. as a regular user of the "rough guide to classical music" (bear with me) the so called equivalent in the "rough guide to jazz" simply doesnt come up to par with that. why ? because there is no wider context placed to the jazz tradition, or has a key historical figure section. in other words, unless the prospective...
Published on 21 Jun 2012 by simon mack


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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Guide on the market, 28 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Jazz (Paperback)
This is a brilliant guide. It is well written; the authours write generously and intelligently about the artists covered. They tend to dwell on positives, and focus on the quality output in an artist's career. There is none of the petty bitchiness that you often get from British hacks, or the jazz snobbery you get from many "purists". The writers have great taste, and unlike the Penguin Guide, I have only rarely been disappointed with a purchase made on their recommendation. For example, their views on Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea seem spot on. I thought I was the only person in the world who thought Arbour Zena and Three Quartets, were respective highpoints in each artists career- judging from reviews other guides. Another plus is the space given to younger musicians; and people like Zakir Hussain and Mark Isham. All in all, they have done a great service to jazz...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive, 27 Jan 2014
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Gareth Smyth "Enjilos" (County Mayo, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rough Guide to Jazz (Paperback)
Superb collection of essays on jazz, arranged A-Z by musicians and occasionally groups, written by knowledgeable people with love for the music.

Definitive, indispensable. Have had a copy for years and have never tired of reading it.

Includes really good recommendations for albums.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars can't agree - good but only for the jazz train spotters.., 21 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Jazz (Paperback)
no i can't agree with the other two gushing uk reviews. as a regular user of the "rough guide to classical music" (bear with me) the so called equivalent in the "rough guide to jazz" simply doesnt come up to par with that. why ? because there is no wider context placed to the jazz tradition, or has a key historical figure section. in other words, unless the prospective reader knows his/her jazz - there is no help to locate where to start collecting key recordings from the top 20 say jazz figures. not good.

if you wish to dig deep into 2,000 jazz musicians (with many so obscure - as a fan i've not heard of many) , printed in small hard to read text with few markers as to a top 100 recordings might be - feel free..

for me this admittedly extensive guide is fine for total jazz heads but first timers or even part time jazz fans - AVOID . Similarly - the Penguin gude to jazz is fine if you konow ecatly what musician you're looking for but again not if you want a wider overview of the key players. there;s simply not enough wider information to give the reader any help . i'd recommend the Jazz Handbook (longman publishing) from 1987 which gives excellent broad overview of both the history as well as key cd recordings from its origins through swing ,big band thru 60 free jazz up to '87.

i know my jazz in the wider historical context, but the "rough guide to jazz" is simply a hard read. the 2000 edition is also sparse on the contemporary horn men i feel such as Brotzmann, David s Ware, Steve Coleman et al get barely 3 cd reviews each. even Coltrane is sparsely reviewed, compared to Miles..

ok but not an essential buy.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could it otherwise be much better?, 28 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rough Guide to Jazz (Paperback)
I can only be impressed by the work involved in getting this guide completed. Of course, there is a great deal of subjectivity involved with certain artists included who are not as important as some who have not been. But all credit to all the authors for their hard work. My copy is already heavily thumbed even after a few weeks!
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The Rough Guide to Jazz
The Rough Guide to Jazz by Brian Priestley (Paperback - 30 Mar 2000)
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