The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD Mass Market Paperback – 26 Nov 1998
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Vital volume as there are few reputable reference books on this subject. Ideal guide for beginners and an essential companion for the "converted". Read morePublished on 12 May 2013 by C. Baugh
Probably the best reference guide to Jazz in its many forms, spanning almost a century of recorded music. Read morePublished on 25 Oct. 2010 by Sentinel
It is a good book about jazz and the pleople who make the jazz fine to listen to.Published on 26 Sept. 2010 by Bert van der Saag
First things first -- as will always be the case with this sort of book it's out-of-date almost as soon as it's published as new releases pour forth. Read morePublished on 31 July 2009 by J. Myles
there are too many artists, contemporary and historic, that have been dropped for this edition. This work is really reaching the stage where it must be put online: on subscription... Read morePublished on 30 Nov. 2004
Alas there is no best reference book of jazz, too big a subject matter and too subjective. Of the 3 big guides Rough Guide is a grear place to start for first purchases, the AMG... Read morePublished on 18 Feb. 2003 by Adrian
This is an excellent book. It is well written by two knowledgeable and enthusiastic journalists. Their preference is for "classic jazz", and the book is aimed more at fans of... Read morePublished on 19 May 2001