Read The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings by Richard Cook Brian Morton Online


The leading guide to recorded jazz, now extensively revised Music fans have been turning to this established reference through seven editions as a source of intelligent and insightful criticism. Fully updated to incorporate thousands of additional recordings, the eighth edition features artist biographies, detailed recording information with labels and catalog numbers, reThe leading guide to recorded jazz, now extensively revised Music fans have been turning to this established reference through seven editions as a source of intelligent and insightful criticism. Fully updated to incorporate thousands of additional recordings, the eighth edition features artist biographies, detailed recording information with labels and catalog numbers, reliable and authoritative ratings, the authors' personal selection of the essential recordings for every collection, an index of artists, and more....

Title : The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780141023274
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 1548 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings Reviews

  • Jonathan
    2019-04-23 01:27

    A friend got me this for my last birthday and, flicking through it this morning, I was reminded how excellent it is. A very useful, well organised recourse. This also gives me an opportunity to do a Top 10 (as of today) Jazz Albums (not in order): 1. The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady - Mingus 2. Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster 3. In a Silent Way - Miles Davis 4. Live at the Village Vanguard - John Coltrane 5. Smokestack - Andrew Hill 6. The Blues and the Abstract Truth - Oliver Nelson 7. The Trio, Live from Chicago - Oscar Peterson Trio 8. At the Golden Circle, Stockholm - Eric Dolphy 9. A love Supreme - John Coltrane 10. Something by Billie Holiday

  • kaelan
    2019-05-13 21:17

    A book such as this one—1600 pages, containing literally thousands of reviews—seems destined for a certain kind of failure. Like any other large-scale collection of reviews, at least somebody's personal preferences are going to be slighted. And perhaps worse, sometimes a person's preferences won't even be represented at all. Of course, we might view this as an unfortunate but necessary consequence of finitude—both of minds and the books that these minds create. But it shouldn't come as a surprise. And it most certainly doesn't merit any sustained griping on the part of the reader.Because putting such subjective hang-ups aside, Cook and Morton's tome is an almost impossibly impressive achievement. I mean, when we talk about "quality" in jazz, we necessarily make reference to a multitude of factors. Technique. Inventiveness. Influence. Complexity. Soul. None of which allow for straightforward appraisal. Nor should we forget that "jazz" doesn't constitute a single unified art form, one complete with a single set of defining characteristics. No, jazz is intricate and multifaceted and (historically-speaking) rather convoluted. Yet Cook and Morton manage to represent—with subtlety and fairness, no less—pretty much the whole gamut of sub-genres and movements, from bebop to European free-improv to contemporary traditionalism and beyond.*Regarding the reviews and ratings themselves, Cook and Morton seem largely unmoved by personal biases and preferences. If anything, the critical pair are maybe even a bit too accommodating in their judgments. With an eye to fairness, they tend to evaluate records qua their respective styles rather than qua jazz or art in general, which means that the reader will invariably come across some rather strange results, like an utterly unimaginative neo-hard bop revivalist garnering the same sort of rankings as Coltrane or Shorter. (In a comparable fashion, grandmaster beer judge Gordon Strong once gave Miller Lite an impressive 43/50 score before adding that he'd personally rather drink a glass of lemonade.)In any case, Cook and Morton have written a balanced, capacious and almost always perceptive guide to jazz in all its heterogeneous forms. TL;DR: An essential (although maybe not definitive) read for anyone with more than a passing interest in the genre.* Honestly, the only styles that suffer any sort of serious neglect are jazz-rock and smooth "jazz." But ask yourself, is this really such a bad thing?

  • Eric Hines
    2019-04-23 22:37

    9th edition: The narrowness of this series of Penguin guides is becoming more & more of a problem, both as jazz expands in directions the authors (now author/editor) finds distasteful and as the point of view of the author seems to become more exaggerated with age. Cook is a man dedicated to jazz as high modernist art, and he is prejudiced against jazz as popular music, dance music or youth-oriented music.[return][return]To me, this has become a serious defect in the guide. BUT, this is still the best guide to jazz recordings in many respects, especially if you share Cook's predilections or if you are a collector of historic jazz from any era.[return][return]Also: the policy of only including CDs in print is self-defeating in a world where the used market makes practically everything available always. [return][return]It is probably long since time that the Cook & Morton's reviews over the many editions were collected on DVD. THAT would get a 5-star review from me.

  • Ben
    2019-05-23 00:33

    First they do an edition (the seventh one) without the index, which was a major mistake and pissed everbody off. Then they do the following edition (this one, the eighth) including the index but omitting albums they don't consider "essential."Mssrs Morton and Cook: Make it a two-volume box-enclosed set printed in microscopic print with a drawer and a magnifying glass in it, like the OED, (that way you can include reviews of albums that are out of print, which you frustratingly leave out) but stop futzing with the basic format!

  • Christopher
    2019-05-08 01:36

    In this 8th edition, Frank Zappa is conspicuously absent, though his handpicked ensemble members are seen in several entries. British jazz seems to have been largely ignored, although is perhaps beyond the scope of the list. I thought Ravi and Alice Coltrane's work were unfairly treated -- Alice's taken out of context and marginalized, and Ravi's snubbed. Though, as a more experienced listener, a book this big was a blast to browse, even if I was irritated after disagreeing with some of the reviews. I came to jazz as an outsider and primarily a listener, so it's inevitable that I will have a different perspective than reviewers closer to the music. But here I also detect the recurrence of widespread biases present in so much other jazz writing. Sometimes I feel jazz writing is like a bad group improvisation where everyone jumps in line behind the first guy to find something. Whatever you do, don't fall prey to the notion that it is wise to make your purchasing or listening decisions based on what you read in the Penguin guide (or anywhere else). Follow your ears, follow your heart, and draw your own conclusions. It's best to listen to the stuff cold and let it speak for itself. That being said, there are some good insights here, and the sheer volume of material that is listed makes it an attractive item, indeed.

  • Jim
    2019-05-18 01:28

    The Penguin Jazz Guide series is an indespensible reference for anyone who is interested in Jazz. Throughout the editions (I own most of them) the editors have kept up the strong review process for most in print jazz albums. A few reasons I really enjoy the PJG -- 1. They list the date the album was issued2. They list complete personnel for each album3. They give essential ratings and review information for each album4. Over the editions the editors views on certain albums change (albums fall in and out offavor)5. Non-American jazz is well represented6. Covers all genres, although smooth jazz does not get much coverage (thank goodness)Pick up any edition and be prepared to spend hours flipping through the thousands of pages and discovering new music.

  • Paul Secor
    2019-05-07 02:15

    I bought a couple of the earlier editions simply because I enjoy reading other people's opinions about music. At some point, I got rid of both because I had read all I wanted to and I realized that there wasn't anything much for me to learn there.The book is probably worth 4 or even 5 stars for someone starting out listening to the music.But for me, three stars.

  • Mark
    2019-04-23 22:21

    This book is a monster! This 8th Edition contains over 14,000 reviews, over 2,000 new discs added and more than 400 new artists added. The 4 star rating system is clever and I love the addition of the "Core Collection" which tells you which one's should be in your "Core Collection". A great reference before you buy that next jazz disc and something to pour over for hours. However, I couldn't help but notice that they didn't include Carol Welsman, which has released a few vocal CD's and is fairly popular at present.

  • Robert
    2019-05-07 00:13

    I haven't read a book of music reviews since Spin's guide to Alternative Music that came out in the early 90's. I still go back to that thing (somehow, it maintains relevance) and this one will always be the place I go when I want to find a little out about someone I've heard-of but not yet heard. Cook and Morton write only the most essential-seeming information. It works, makes me want to listen to more music.

  • Tim Niland
    2019-04-26 01:40

    I was really surprised to see a new edition of the venerable Penguin Guide, since co-editor Richard Cook died in late 2007. But Brian Morton soldiers on and this edition contains several new entries while remaining one of the best sources for jazz criticism available.

  • Ken Johnson
    2019-05-20 00:28

    It's not the end-all in Jazz music review guides but one of the best and certainly one to include along with Down Beat reviews, and the handy AMG. I would prefer they stick with the common 5-star system but appreciate the CROWN list.

  • Chris Meloche
    2019-05-06 19:32

    I have three different editions of this book.

  • Tim Niland
    2019-05-01 01:26

    This 8th edition of the venerable guide introduced their concept of "core collection" recordings, in addition to their "crowned" must have discs. This fascinating and occasionally infuriating guide to jazz recordings is a must for all fans.

  • Richard Ladew
    2019-05-07 02:37

    Cook and Morton know their shit. Maybe someday I will have all the Brotzmann and Sun Ra stuff they expound upon. Until then, the comprehensive reviews in this book never leave you for lack of finding adventure in music.

  • Laura
    2019-04-26 18:38

    The reviews were great. They matched my opinions on many of the albums, which allowed me to trust their reviews on artists and albums I have yet to listen to.It's a fantastic book to have around for any jazz enthusiast.

  • Greg Brozeit
    2019-04-27 02:12

    When I decided I wanted to learn more about jazz, this book became a constant companion. It helped me to build an excellent, eclectic collection. I still refer to it from time to time. Recommended to anyone who wants to learn and get introduced to the full scope of jazz recordings.

  • Colin McKell-Redwood
    2019-05-18 21:25

    A constant companion in exploring jazz. Infuriating, annoying but absolutely essential reading from two guys who love their jazz. This will never make it to my "read" section, I have the fifth edition and refer to it constantly.

  • Allan
    2019-05-05 19:29

    Part encyclopedia, part buyer's guide (this book has cost me far more than the cover price), this chubby tome deserves its three inches of space on every serious jazz lover's bookshelf.

  • Brentabousko
    2019-05-23 02:14

    Looks good on the bookshelf.

  • Arjen
    2019-05-04 00:37

    Excellent guide to find you way to the massive amount of Jazz releases. Of course there's your favourite records which are not listed here. But that's why they are your favourites, right?

  • Ben
    2019-04-24 20:33

    The Bible for jazz listeners. Everything you need to construct a respectable collection of jazz albums.

  • Paulrx04
    2019-04-28 21:40

    This and the all music guide are both great resources.These will save you time and get you where you want.

  • Laginestra
    2019-05-05 20:33

    Andatevi a leggere il commento sulla Penguin Guide di musica classica, inutile riscrivere le stesse cose! Quando chiudo una apro l'altra, solo l'umore del momento mi guida nella scelta.

  • kovacevitch
    2019-05-05 19:31

    De Jazz Bijbel

  • Greg
    2019-05-19 18:29

    Indispensible bathroom reading. It was the catalyst in building the majority of my record collection.