5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Useful, practical... not profound,
This review is from: All Music Guide to Jazz: The Experts' Guide to the Best Jazz Recordings (All Music Guide to Jazz, 3rd ed) (Paperback)
The AMG website is no doubt the best and most efficient way of finding out the basic facts about a recording, be it in circulation or not. Its printed counterpart for jazz is practical, but it lacks the depth, scholarship, style and vitality of the Penguin Guide. It also, crucially, lacks an index. However, it is helpful in that it isn't concerned -as the Penguin is- with whether a recording is available or not. That way it tantalisingly points to material that has not been reissued or is still only on vinyl. Those of us who love the hunt for rare records will be delighted by this. The writing is competent and highly informed, but stops short of erudition and wit. It's also slightly overenthusiastic, as if there were few bad recordings in jazz. Of course there are, in their thousands. And sophisticated listeners want to become discerning; they want to know why something good is good, and why something poor is poor. To become discerning you need more challenging books than this. But it remains essential as a basic reference item for its breadth alone.