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 It's very much along the lines of the "Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide," which is now sadly out of print and far out of date.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 The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good Book Reviews The Blues: Why It Still Hurts So Good
by Doug Collette
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965 Book Reviews The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 1920-1965
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge Book Reviews Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2017
Read Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie Book Reviews Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!