Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

206

The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz Leonard Feather
and Ira Gitler
Oxford Univ. Press
ISBN 0-19-507418-1

The title in combination with the author credits pretty much says it all: This is perhaps the ultimate reference on the musicians who created and continue to create jazz.

Feather, who died before this work was completed, and Gitler are rightly regarded as two of the most important and thoughtful writers on jazz. As the entries show, they didn't take their responsibility lightly when putting this book together.

They endeavored to get every fact correct (Louis Armstrong's mythological birthdate of July 4, 1900, for example, doesn't appear. Instead we get the real one, tracked down by critic Gary Giddins several years back, of Aug. 4, 1901) and to compress every important career development, composition and record date into each artist's entry.

It's not a book you'll skim, such as a record guide. The numerous abbreviations can make for frustrating reading. But, if you want to know something about an artist, chances are excellent you'll find it here.


Shop

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!