416

The Jazz CD Listener's Guide

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The Jazz CD Listener's Guide by Howard J. Blumenthal
Billboard Books
ISBN 0-8230-7662-8

Listeners new to jazz now have an option to those big, fat, daunting record guides: "The Jazz CD Listener's Guide" is compact enough to fit in your back pocket as you cruise the aisles of your favorite record shop.

The guide's author, Howard J. Blumenthal focuses on what, in jazz, amounts to the basic repertoire: Pops, Duke, Basie, Bird, Monk, Trane, Mingus, Ornette, etc. He also throws the young lions in for good measure, and spices things up with some names you might not expect to see in such a basic overview, including the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Jan Garberek, Albert Ayler, Kenny Barron and John Surman.

Each artist gets a brief (very brief) bio and a listing of their most representative works. Since, for the most part, Blumenthal is writing about undisputed greats, there's little to disagree with in his assessments. The reviews are "good stuff-only," so newcomers can be assured that, unless they really don't care for a particular artist's stuff, they will be picking up good albums. All the records listed are currently in print.

For the beginning collector this is a nice first guide. It's very much along the lines of the "Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide," which is now sadly out of print and far out of date. Longtime listeners won't find much here that they haven't seen before, but they may enjoy the book's portability and Blumenthal brief, but perceptive observations about the recordings.


Shop

More Articles

Read "Why Jazz? A Concise Guide" Book Reviews Why Jazz? A Concise Guide
by Douglas Groothuis
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "How to Listen to Jazz by Ted Gioia" Book Reviews How to Listen to Jazz by Ted Gioia
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth" Book Reviews Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Stan Levey: Jazz Heavyweight" Book Reviews Stan Levey: Jazz Heavyweight
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!