Critical biographies cover the legends of the genre as well as today's hottest young players. Included are nearly 3,000 recommendations of recordings....
|Title||:||Jazz: The Rough Guide (Rough Guides)|
|Number of Pages||:||754 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Jazz: The Rough Guide (Rough Guides) Reviews
Jazz The Topic, amongst it's enthusiasts, (as compared to Jazz The Music), is one tough jurisdiction to stake out. No one agrees on what it is. No one allows all candidates without asterisk, distinction or stipulation. Louis Armstrong peaked with the Hot Five / Hot Seven units and eventually sold out; Sarah Vaughan was great until the live Tivoli set, maybe not afterwards; Chet Baker was a great horn player, until he decided he was also a vocalist. The Ken Burns documentary called "Jazz" is excellent. Or it's completely wrong most of the time. Some of these assertions may be true, or true-ish, but not all. (Sarah had a kind of second bloom, in the late seventies on Pablo records, mature & vivid, no matter how you cut the deck).For myself as a jazzfan, the music that matters has it's beginnings in the late 19th century and the viable history comes to a dead halt in, oh, say ...... precisely 1964. When Coltrane did A Love Supreme and afterwards changed his personnel to Mssrs Dolphy, Shepp, Pharoah Sanders et al, and when Miles changed his crew to the Herbie Hancock / Wayne Shorter unit, recording only a string of live dates. There are exceptions and exclusions, certainly, but fusion and further developments were a grand waste of time and good vinyl, in my slightly hardline view. Which is entirely true but only one opinion.This being the case, it's hard to judge just what degree of inclusivity something like a Guide to Jazz should have, and when you pick up this one, it's a little mystifying at first. Nearly nine-hundred pages, and more than 2000 entries.... Surely Jazz isn't that elaborate, or maybe the completist instinct has gone haywire, something like the cinema credits that list caterers & personal drivers.... But looking closer you get the picture. If you grant that something like Jazz continued to be played in the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond, and if you grant that new, central-euro and far-east participants among others shouldn't be ignored, you end up with this kind of gigantic encyclopedia, half of it focussed on marginal streams that take space away from the monumental pillars of the art. Let's have a look.Originally I looked for a few favorites, and found that they were represented very compactly by tiny entries....Dexter Gordon 0.5 pgs.Lennie Tristano 0.5 Bill Evans 0.5Tadd Dameron 0.5 Jimmy Giuffre 0.5 This didn't seem fair to the artists, but they weren't widely known, I guess. How about some of the big names ?Louis Armstrong 2.0 pgs.Charlie Parker 2.0Dizzy Gillespie 2.5Duke Ellington 2.25Okay, that's somewhat better, but what about these guys, giants in anybody's estimation ...Ben Webster 1.0 pgsSidney Bechet 1.25John Coltrane 1.5 Lester Young 1.5Johnny Hodges 1.0 Django Reinhardt 1.25Thelonius Monk 0.75This didn't seem right. I looked at the entry for Miles. Four pages here, but seriously. Let's look for a few lesser-knowns. They're all here, true enough, but represented by short, short blurbs. Bix Beiderbecke 1.0 pgsRon Carter 1.0Max Roach 1.0Milt Jackson 1.25Eddie Lang 0.5George Wallington 0.25All that would be okay if the buyer of this Guide wasn't also signing on for entries on Louis Prima, Astrud Gilberto, Ray Conniff, Kevin Eubanks and Harry Connick Jr. Something out of balance there.In the end, not a bad generic encyclopedia of Jazz, really, that tries at least to err on the side of inclusion. And, there is a really great Glossary covering everything from 'circular breathing' to Free Jazz, a personal favorite of mine, referencing "... the agressive anarchism of, eg., Peter Brötzmann and his associates which expressed itself in Violent, Non-Tonal, Collective Improvisation ... "You don't need to be able to play two saxophones at once to enjoy many of the numerous entries in the Rough Guide To Jazz. But you need to be willing to ignore half the entries. Good quick reference, not deep or discerning enough.
Go on ask me. Ask me anything you need to know. Go on. I dare you. See if you can catch me out. This is what this book seems to be saying to me. This is not a complete discography of jazz, nor is it a full biogrpahy of all artists, some of whom only just make an appearance, but it does cover a huge amount of music from the last 80+ years, with informed articles about anyone who has had an influence on jazz music and offers advice on what is probably their best, or at least most representative, material. Naturally, when it comes to artists that you maybe an expert in, you may disagree with some of those choices, such is the nature of an encyclopedia written to appeal to as many music lovers as possible. However, if there is anyone from the classic periods of jazz that I hear about, or a new artist who comes to my attention, I find this book to be of immense unfailing value.Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in this genre.
I'm using this book as a study guide to great jazz albums and musicians I would probably never hear of though the mainstream media.Still on the A's, and so far haven't been disappointed.Really like the recommended albums/compositions per artist, it means you buy what's worth listening to, not what's on the display shelf!