The Penguin Jazz Guide

The Penguin Jazz Guide

The History of the Music in the 1,001 Best Albums

Book - 2010
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The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings is firmly established as the world's leading guide to recorded jazz, a mine of fascinating information and a source of insightful - often wittily trenchant - criticism. This is something rather different- Brian Morton (who taught American history at UEA) has picked out the 1000 best recordings that all jazz fans should have and shows how they tell the history of the music and with it the history of the twentieth century. He has completely revised his and Richard Cook's entries and reassessed each artist's entry for this book. The result is an endlessly browsable companion that will prove required reading for aficionados and jazz novices alike. 'It's the kind of book that you'll yank off the shelf to look up a quick fact and still be reading two hours later' Fortune 'Part jazz history, part jazz Karma Sutra with Cook and Morton as the knowledgeable, urbane, wise and witty guides ... This is one of the great books of recorded jazz; the other guides don't come close' Irish Times
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin, 2010
ISBN: 9780141048314
Branch Call Number: 781.65 M84602p 2010
Characteristics: xxxii, 730 ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Cook, Richard 1957-2007
Alternative Title: Jazz guide


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Feb 17, 2013

The new format of the Penguin Jazz Guide is a bit of a disappointment. They have cut half of the length of the book, and reformatted it mostly chronologically. Skillful one-page essays herald each decade of music. What this gives up is the attempt to give thorough overviews of the top jazz musicians. Major artists are represented by two to three albums, as if Sgt. Pepper was all you needed to know about the Beatles. The reviews themselves are mostly identical to content that has existed before -what they kept anyway, with some updates for albums released since the prior volume. Nor are these the 'best' albums of the individual musicians. Sometimes they include an album which they had previously allotted three stars, but ignore another by the same artist which they had previously allotted four stars or even four crowns, their ultimate accolade. Thus, for anyonew with a fairly recent Penguin Guide, I say Keep your old guide. Maybe new aficionados will get something out of this.


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