The lives of jazz musicians seem an inexhaustible mine for biographers. Here, Lyons and Perlo offer sketches of over 200 musicians from the early years of jazz to the present. Their choice of subjects is appropriate but leaves odd gapswhy Thad and Elvin Jones, for instance, but not their brother Hank? Each entry gives a one- or two-page summary of the musician's contributions, style, and biographical facts, citing important LP recordings. These short narratives level apt criticism (George Benson became ``a saccharine pop success'') that they sometimes fail to justify (Miles Davis's ``faltering technique''). While the bibliography omits some important works, the glossary adeptly defines musical and stylistic terms and adds to the value of this worthy reference work.William S. Brockman, Drew Univ. Lib., Madison, N.J.
Alphabetized biographical entries of varying length, enlivened with commentary and anecdotes, provide an overview of the development of the form through the 80's. Includes an appendix listing musicians chronologically by instrument played, and a glossary of terms used in jazz criticism. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)