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The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz and Blues Hardcover – October 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Billboard Books (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823082660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823082667
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 10.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,264,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This heavily illustrated volume chronicles the history of jazz and blues from their roots to the present day. In the introduction, jazz author and journalist Mandel explains that the book's intention is not to provide an exhaustive history; rather, he and the authors, drawn primarily from music journalism, hope that the selected eras and performers represent the breadth of styles and stories that make up jazz and blues. There is coverage of hundreds of musicians, ranging from blues guitarist Daddy Stovepipe, born in 1867, to jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, born in 1966.

Aside from the opening chapter, which discusses the "early years," from the late 1890s through the 1910s, and the final one, focusing on contemporary musicians from the 1990s through today, the book is arranged chronologically into chapters representing one decade each. Each chapter begins with a one-page overview of culture and music during that decade and then treats jazz and blues histories separately. The authors include a detailed look at prominent musical styles and important events, several pages featuring the top four or five artists of the decade, and brief entries on other important musicians. Each chapter also features "WWW Track boxes" offering URLs linking to MP3 audio files. A general index, as well as separate indexes for jazz and blues musicians, is included, as are a glossary and several pages describing the equipment and instruments typically used by jazz and blues artists.

Although there are more in-depth reference sources, such as The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (Grove, 2002) and All Music Guide to the Blues (Backbeat Books, 2003), this volume's extensive collection of photos, links to audio files, and inclusion of some of today's younger artists, such as Diana Krall and Nora Jones, make it a worthy supplement to other works. Public and undergraduate libraries as well as individual jazz and blues enthusiasts will find this as a welcome addition to their collections. Steven York
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Howard Mandel, general editor,
contributes to Down Beat magazine
and produces arts features for National
Public Radio. The author of How Miles
Davis, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor
Revolutionized the World of Jazz and
Future Jazz
, he lives in New York City.
A distinguished team of eleven US and
UK authorities contributed to this book.

Customer Reviews

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on November 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The innovative user-friendly touch of the Internet links is integrated into the sections of many of the artists (i. e., not put in an appendix or resources section at the back of the main text) by graphics with a web address. Another reader-friendly touch is a graphic noting the most representative recording by a particular musician. This is especially helpful considering the long careers, many recordings, and evolving styles of many of them. Most of the photographs show the artists in performance. Blues and Jazz are taken decade by decade from the early years through the nineteen twenties down to the eighties and the contemporary era, with a closing section on the instruments and equipment going with the two long-lasting and changeable types of music. Profiles of each artist cover biographical background, music career, and the artist's influences on or contributions to the field. For historical overview, comprehensive treatment of all the leading jazz and blues performers, and primary references cited, the "Illustrated Encyclopedia..." is an ideal introduction to these interrelated fields of music.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Hope on April 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This well-illustrated book makes for an intriguing reference on some of the greatest American artists of the 20th century. Lots and lots of books and studies fail to join jazz and blues at all, and none do as clearly or as effortlessly as this much-needed and very worthwhile volume. It is both comprehensive and sensible.It covers a lot of ground. Though I wish it had more information on specific solos, which is where we really get a grasp of the depth of artistry here, this is the best book of its kind I have seen and I am grateful for it.
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By JazzyC on March 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A potentially great feature of the book is lost because [...] does not work. This takes away a big part of the educational experience.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vakhtang Jaliashvili on August 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dear AMAZON,
Thank you very much for this book.
Excellent, very good printed and beautiful book.
Very usefull for musicians and other intellectual people.
Vakhtang,
Georgia
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