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Jazz : the essential companion /

Main Author: Carr, Ian.
Other Authors: Fairweather, Digby, 1946-, Priestley, Brian, 1946-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Prentice Hall Press, 1988
Edition: 1st Prentice Hall Press ed.
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Review by Choice Review

This dictionary contains more than "1600 entries covering the whole spectrum of jazz from its origins in ragtime to Loose Tubes." The bulk of the 500- to 1,500-word entries are biographical sketches providing the basic facts of the musicians' lives and critical commentary on their work, and listing one or more of their representative recordings. Definitions of jazz terms and brief overviews of regional styles (Dixieland, Chicago, New Orleans) are also included. The emphasis is on the US but there is some international coverage as well. In purpose and format, this reference work most closely resembles Hugues Panassie and Madeleine Gautier's Guide to Jazz (1956; repr. 1973). In addition to being more current and more comprehensive, however, it is free of Panassie and Gautier's bias against forms that were not, in their opinion, "true jazz." Given its timeliness, this volume will probably replace Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz (rev. ed., 1960) as the standard one-volume reference source. Although the two-volume New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (1988) may be more detailed, it offers little competition at over ten times the price. Some 150 black-and-white photographs enliven the text. Highly recommended to both public and academic libraries at all levels. -W. M. Gargan, Brooklyn College, CUNY

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

It's about time for another biographical/ terminological dictionary of jazz, and this is a good one, more readable and of course more current than Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz and its sequels. Carr and his collaborators-- Digby Fairweather and Brian Priestley-- are performers and pedagogues as well as pundits of jazz. Thus their remarks on musicians and their definitions of terms have more than journalistic authority, while their popular writing experience makes for clearer prose than most players and teachers write. In more than 1,600 entries, they sketch musicians from the legendary, never- recorded Buddy Bolden to such youngsters as Wynton Marsalis (b. 1961). Coverage is international and significant omissions nearly nil. Perhaps the all-female International Sweethearts of Rhythm and surely composer/teacher/ scholar Gunther Schuller, along with several more singers (e.g., King Pleasure, Johnny Hartman, Rosemary Clooney, Sinatra), should have been included. These few oversights should not, however, bar this enjoyable, truly companionable reference from any jazz library. RO.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

This complement to extant jazz reference works is long overdue. Engagingly written by musician/critics, it offers an international scope appropriately emphasizing figures of major historical importance while also heralding promising younger performers. Noteworthy innovators are credited, recordings noted, and jazzspecific terms defined. Alphabetical entries are complete and self-contained, an advantage over Leonard Feather's decade-specific Ency clopedia of Jazz (Da Capo, 1984. reprint). Though it is as inclusive as Joachim Berendt's The Jazz Book (Lawrence Hill, 1987. rev. ed.), unlike the Harmony Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz (1987. 3d ed.) it is not concerned with pop/rock artists. Comprehensive enough for general collections, but with a currency and level of detail that will please the specialist. Paul Baker, CUNA Inc., Madison, Wis. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.