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The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazzby Leonard Feather
Synopses & Reviews
Do you want to know when Duke Ellington was king of The Cotton Club? Have you ever wondered how old Miles Davis was when he got his first trumpet?
From birth dates to gig dates and from recordings to television specials, Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler have left no stone unturned in their quest for accurate, detailed information on the careers of 3.300 jazz musicians from around the world. We learn that Duke Ellington worked his magic at The Cotton Club from 1927 to 1931, and that on Miles Davis's thirteenth birthday, his father gave him his first trumpet. Jazz is fast moving, and this edition clearly and concisely maps out an often dizzying web of professional associations. We find, for instance, that when Miles Davis was a St. Louis teenager he encountered Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie for the first time. This meeting proved fateful, and by 1945 a nineteen-year-old Davis had left Juilliard to play with Parker on 52nd Street. Knowledge of these professional alliances, along with the countless others chronicled in this book, are central to tracing the development of significant jazz movements, such as the "cool jazz" that became one of Miles Davis's hallmarks.
Arranged alphabetically according to last name, each entry of this book chronologically lists the highlights of every jazz musician's career. Highly accessible and vigorously researched, The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz is, quite simply, the most comprehensive jazz encyclopedia available.
Today, jazz is considered high art, Americaandrsquo;s national music, and the catalog of its recordingsandmdash;its discographyandmdash;is often taken for granted. But behind jazz discography is a fraught and highly colorful history of research, fanaticism, and the intense desire to know who played what, where, and when. This history gets its first full-length treatment in Bruce D. Eppersonandrsquo;s More Important Than the Music. Following the dedicated few who sought to keep jazzandrsquo;s legacy organized, Epperson tells a fascinating story of archival pursuit in the face of negligence and deception, a tale that saw curses and threats regularly employed, with fisticuffs and lawsuits only slightly rarer.
Epperson examines the documentation of recorded jazz from its casual origins as a novelty in the 1920s and andrsquo;30s, through the overwhelming deluge of 12-inch vinyl records in the middle of the twentieth century, to the use of computers by todayandrsquo;s discographers. Though he focuses much of his attention on comprehensive discographies, he also examines the development of a variety of related listings, such as buyerandrsquo;s guides and library catalogs, and he closes with a look toward discographyandrsquo;s future. From the little black book to the full-featured online database, More Important Than the Music offers a history not just of jazz discography but of the profoundly human desire to preserve history itself.
Feather and Gitler have left no stone unturned in their quest for accurate, detailed information on the careers of 3,300 jazz musicians from around the world. Arranged alphabetically, each entry of this book lists the highlights of every jazz musician's career.
About the Author
Leonard Feather, one of the deans of jazz criticism, is a widely respected figure in jazz writing. He moved to New York from England in the 1930s and made a significant career in jazz here as a journalist, producer, lecturer, broadcaster, musician, and writer of hundreds of jazz compositions. After founding The Encyclopedia of Jazz series in the mid 1950s, he moved to California, becoming the jazz columnist for the Los Angeles Times and The Book of Jazz. Leonard Feather died in 1994. Ira Gitler's writing has helped illuminate the jazz scene from 1951, when he wrote the first of countless album and CD annotations. He was the New York editor of Downbeat in the 1960s and continues to contribute to that publication, as well as to JazzTimes and Internet publications. His credits as a producer include recordings and concerts, and he teaches jazz history at the Manhattan School of Music. His books include the highly acclaimed Jazz Masters of the '40s and Swing to Bop, the latter written while hw was a Guggenheim fellow. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 The Sage of Edgware
2 and#147;Those Frenchmen Got a Hellova Nerveand#8221;
3 and#147;A Form of Musical Bookkeepingand#8221;
4 and#147;You Live in a Numerical World of Your Ownand#8221;
5 and#147;What a Messand#8221;
6 Specialized Discographies, Part 1
7 Specialized Discographies, Part 2
8 What Kind of Discographies Do We Want?
Notes to Pages
What Our Readers Are Saying
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz