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The Rough Guide to Jazz Paperback – 30 Mar 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 2nd Revised edition edition (30 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858285283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858285283
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 422,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Written by musicians, Jazz: The Rough Guide contains more than 1,600 biographies, from Ahmed Abdul-Malik to Axel Zwingenberger. In addition to profiling a broad spectrum of jazz musicians (both famous and lesser-known composers and performers), it clarifies crucial jazz issues, gives historical perspective, and also serves as a buyer's guide, with discographies and pithy reviews of representative recordings. The Guide's alphabetical, encyclopaedic organisation makes it useful as a dependable jazz reference, and it's wonderfully browsable too, illustrated with fine classic black-and-white photographs (of performers such as Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers)and beautifully written. A good starter text for jazz neophytes, the CD suggestions are a great help toward custom-building your jazz library. There's also a fine glossary that explains a cappella and acid jazz, Afro-Latin, airshot, and atonality. It's a safe source of education if you're ignorant about ballads, bebop, or B-flat. It's useful for learning about major jazz styles (Chicago, Dixieland, and dirty, Kansas City, ragtime, and scat), plus musical concepts such as harmony, improvisation, and tempo. Concise, accessible, and addictive and readable, Jazz: The Rough Guide is a great introduction to the world of jazz. --Stephanie Gold. This text refers to an earlier edition of this title.

Review

If you want to talk knowledgeably, this is the book for you. -- Jazz FM, London, UK

Pithy insights make the rough guide to jazz a good read. -- Jazz FM, London, UK

Reflects both the changing nature of jazz and the personal engagement of the contributors, enhancing the book's undoubted vigour and authority. -- BBC Music Magazine, London, UK

The book most of us will turn to first...the long-established market-leading single volume...handsomely updated...No other book combines well-researched background, clear prose and musicianly update in quite such a readable and reliable way...the best collection of snapshot career summaries currently available. -- Jazzwise, June 2000

Written by musicians rather than musicologists - and it shows! -- Jazz FM, London, UK


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 28 May 2001
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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By Gareth Smyth VINE VOICE on 27 Jan. 2014
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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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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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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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A steal for the price. Some wear and tear but the book arrived earlier than expected, accompanied by other purchases.
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