The Penguin Guide to Jazz

The Penguin Guide to Jazz

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by Richard Cook, Brian Morton
     
 

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What was the line-up at John Coltrane's Village Vanguard sessions? What is John Zorn's most important contribution to contemporary jazz? When was Jelly Roll Morton recorded for the Library of Congress? Where can you find a complete set of Ella Fitzgerald's many songbook recordings? Leading critics Richard Cook and Brian Morton answer these and a myriad other questions

Overview

What was the line-up at John Coltrane's Village Vanguard sessions? What is John Zorn's most important contribution to contemporary jazz? When was Jelly Roll Morton recorded for the Library of Congress? Where can you find a complete set of Ella Fitzgerald's many songbook recordings? Leading critics Richard Cook and Brian Morton answer these and a myriad other questions in The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD—the most comprehensive critical guide to jazz recordings available. Updated with revised artists' entries and thousands of additional CDs, the fourth edition includes:

* listings for over 10,000 discs
* musical and biographical details
* full line-ups
* accurate label and number details
* authoritative critical ratings

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Jazz aficionados will revel in this massive volume, an absolute essential for anyone looking to bone up on their jazz knowledge or to expand an already well stocked collection. With revised listings, the fifth edition of this classic weighs in at a whopping 1,618 pages, and that's without the lengthy and detailed index.

The depth of the book's listings varies, depending on the artist, but entries range in length from a quarter of a page -- the standard for newcomers, obscure players, one-hit wonders, or established musicians in other genres who dabbled in jazz -- to several pages for more prolific artists. Each artist entry is accompanied by a short biography and a list of recordings, complete with the names of all the musicians featured on the recording. While some readers may find the star system for rating albums rather cursory or inadequate, it is clearly necessary for a book of this magnitude. And, in fact, the number of recordings that also have more in-depth critiques is astonishing, considering the amount of ground that is covered.

A refreshingly worldly perspective is brought to the table by editors Richard Cook and Brian Morton. Both are based in the United Kingdom, and they avoid falling into the common trap of viewing jazz as a musical form in which all the important players are American. And so, sprinkled among the entries for Armstrong and Coltrane, Davis and Goodman, are entries for South African trumpeter and vocalist Hugh Masekela, Swedish sax player Krister Andersson, and Russian trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, among others.

The meticulous research into the broad genre of jazz that went into the compilation of the book is evident on every page. This, combined with discerning critiques and inclusive scope, makes The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD a truly authoritative guide to recorded jazz music. (Karen Burns)

Library Journal
Penguin has a long history of producing music reference paperbacks, many of which are updated annually. This guide maintains the format of the 1992 original, incorporating thousands of new albums since the last edition came out early last year. Organized alphabetically by the artist's last name, and then chronologically by album, the book teems with basic facts, a healthy dose of sensible if biased criticism, and amusing trivia. Cook (Jazz Review) and Morton write leisurely but with a sense of reverence (when due) that fans will appreciate. The publisher continues to significantly broaden the book's coverage while maintaining affordability. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140513837
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/1999
Series:
Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
1808
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.16(h) x 2.74(d)

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The Penguin Guide to Jazz 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Using this guide I built a Jazz on CD collection which I started in 1992 and numbers over 300. From Miles to Monk every CD was rated correctly. 5 star CDs were every bit 5 stars; 3 were 3s. This is the best tool available today. Far better than the AMG to Jazz (which I also own).
Guest More than 1 year ago
Simply a must have - this guide is an endless supply of wonderful information for both people new to jazz and for intense hobbyists. I've rarely been grossly misled by the evaluations, but face it: the review aspect of this book is built on the opinions of the authors, and as such any buyer must ultimately take responsibility for any CD purchase he or she makes. In other words, this book is what it says it is: a guide. Use it to stimulate your curiousity - there is no better book of it's kind on the market.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has served as a faithful companion for me, both as teacher and expert guide. I bought the first edition years ago and have continued to faithfully add each edition to my collection. Despite what the review below states, I have never found a more thorough or knowledgeable guide to jazz. It is heavily relied upon by some of the best jazz shops in the country. You will NEVER find a better jazz guide than this.