Synopses & Reviews
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.
Includes bibliographical references and discographies.
About the Author
Bruce D. Epperson is an attorney and independent scholar and member for the Association of Recorded Sound Collections. He is the author of Peddling Bicycles to America: The Rise of an Industry.and#160;
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