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The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD Mass Market Paperback – 26 Nov 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 26 Nov 1998
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1760 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 4th Revised edition edition (26 Nov. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140513833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140513837
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 7 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,709,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
While the Rough Guide and AMG are better in their potted biographies of various Jazz Musicians - they too do not cover everyone - they also do not give any real detail of the released material compared to this tome, and a mighty tome it is.
If you really want some idea of the actual music that was created, by whom and when, then this IS the Compendium for you, if you want a history of Jazz Musicians then look elsewhere, as while there is a para or two on each group/artist, this book concentrates solely on the music and the released material.
Yes the opinions are probably biased (Coltrane's Ascension is dreadful in my opinion) but the sheer enthusiasm of the writing by persons who really do love their subject cannot help but enthuse. They are also consistent, so that after a few purchases based on the detail here, you will know what to expect pretty much in terms of their preferences verus your own.
I guarantee that this book will be more than just a (shopping) list. I can sit for hours pouring over the informatyion. As a newcomer to Jazz music, I found this reference to be absolutely invaluable. There is a lot of 'Jazz' out there, this will help you define your tastes, I guarantee.
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