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Bebop Spoken There

Joey Calderazzo: "Playing the standard repertoire is a pretty good barometer of where one is as a jazz musician" - (DownBeat January 2019).

Tuesday December 18

Afternoon

Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.

Evening

Gala Big Band - Gala Theatre & Cinema, Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA. Tel: 03000 266 600. 7:30pm. £10.00. & £8.00. ‘The Gala Big Band Does Christmas’. SOLD OUT!

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Review: The Penguin Jazz Guide by James Morton & Richard Cook.

The package landed in the passage with a resounding thud. The Tenth Edition of the PENGUIN JAZZ GUIDE sub-titled, The History of the Music in the 1001 Best Albums had arrived.
Wow!
I'm still working from the Fourth Edition!
Actually, the previous edition - Edition 9 - is about twice the size of this one but, as this latest one is near half the price, I guess that's fair enough.
The Tenth Edition doesn't claim to be a near complete listing of an artists output - will that ever be possible again other than online? The number of budget reissues from questionable sources coupled with self-produced albums make discographies and books such as this an almost impossible task from the point of view of total completeness
However, instead of attempting an en masse approach, the author(s) have opted for the 1001 best jazz recordings which, although subjective, is still a daunting task. Nevertheless, this must surely be as good a guide as anything else around and if you've got one of the previous editions then they will complement each other.
Originally compiled by Brian Morton and the late Richard Cook, Morton now goes it alone although Richard's name remains as co-author and I can only wonder how even two persons could so accurately assess so many recordings let alone one person!
It is a wonderful tome running to some 700 plus pages that, just like my previous edition, I know I will dip into many times and of course make comparisions. I will nod approvingly, shake my head in disagreement or maybe raise a quizical eyebrow but, most of all, I will be glad to have it to hand - it should be on every serious jazz-lover's bookshelf.
I do have one small - although important - nitpick. The chapters are set out, in the main, in half-decades and nowhere is there any form of alphabetical layout or even an index which is frustrating and timetaking if you are checking to see if an album has been included.
Perhaps this will be addressed in a future issue. It is still a tremendous book not just as a work of reference but for a jolly good read. The quotes from musicians on the albums are worth the price alone. I may post a few once I've had the chance to savour them all.
A snip at £20 it is available from the usual sources or can be purchased post free from Penguin books up until Jan 31, 2011. Lance.

1 comment :

The LondonJazz site said...

Hi Lance,

This may be of interest: I asked Brian Morton to explain the background to the new book to me.

We talked a lot but here is the quick summary.

Talk soon. Sebastian

http://londonjazz.blogspot.com/2010/11/penguin-jazz-guide-published-this.html

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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