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.
This updated version comes 23 years after Feather and Gitler's Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies, itself a follow-up to the Encyclopedia of Jazz (published in the 1950s) and the Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Sixties. The older encyclopedias were heavily consulted standard reference tools, and this publication is sure to follow suit. Beware of two drawbacks, however: the editors neglect many musicians, often still active, who have worked in the field over the past 30-plus years, and many foreign musicians. For example, one misses multi-instrumentalist Milo Fine, who has been recording since 1969; most of his recordings are easily available, and he continues performing to this day. Musicians as varied as Richard Tabnik, Myra Melford, Matt Turner, Ahmed Abdullah, and Don Messina are also ignored. Including a few foreign musicians doesn't do justice to the hundreds of others left out�the Italian jazz scene alone could easily support 100 entries. There are no excuses for these failings, although many other works, e.g., All Music Guide to Jazz (Miller Freeman, 1998. 3d ed.) has the same frustrating problems. In addition, CDs are listed by label, and over 400 abbreviations allow the text to be condensed at the expense of a smooth narrative (users of the older Encyclopedias are familiar with this scheme). Still, what is included in this book is very useful. The citations give accurate basic background on musicians from the 1920s onward. Recommended, despite its shortcomings, for public and academic libraries, especially those supporting strong music collections; readers looking for a more complete listing of jazz musicians should see "The European Free Improvisation Pages" (www.shef.ac.uk/misc/rec/ps/efi/ehome. html).�William Kenz, Moorhead State Univ. Lib., MN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Oxford University Press, Incorporated
April 01, 2007
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