We have a copy of The Penguin Guide To Jazz on CD, Seventh Edition. It is a voluminous book consisting of 1,725 pages in one book. I was immediately taken by the wonderful photo of Elvin Jones on the cover, he looks so involved in the music he is playing and hearing. Considering all of the accumulated information in the book, I am amazed that the listed price is only $26.00 U.S.; $38.00 Canada; and £25.00 U.K.
The Introduction explains in details the purpose of the book, like why some musicians are included and why some are left out, plus information about the Jazz industry that I have not seen in other reference books. The format includes a brief bio of the musician, then a discography and some reviews and ratings of recordings.
Since part of the policy of Jazz Now has always been to bring to the attention of Jazz lovers those musicians that have made a contribution but may not have gotten the attention of the main stream media, my test was to see if the book listed one of our cover subjects that fits that category. The person I chose in my test was Glenn Spearman, the saxophonist that appeared as the cover subject of the Volume 2, Number 6, October 1992 issue of Jazz Now . Lo and behold, there he was on page 1491 after Martin Speake and before Chris Speed.
The book contains information that we use daily as a Jazz publication, but is information that any fan would want at their finger tips.
by Haybert K. Houston
Jazz Now Interactive November 2004 Vol 14 No. 7 - Table of Contents
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