Jazz Performers: An Annotated Bibliography of Biographical Materials

Jazz Performers: An Annotated Bibliography of Biographical Materials

Jazz Performers: An Annotated Bibliography of Biographical Materials

Jazz Performers: An Annotated Bibliography of Biographical Materials


This work puts together in one volume all the book and scholarly materials related to jazz lives and organizes them in such a way that the reader, at a glance, can see the entire sweep of writings on a given artist and grasp the nature of their contents. The bibliography includes many different kinds of biographical source material published in all languages from 1921 to the present. Each bonafide jazz musician is given a separate section, and birth, death, and primary instrumentation data is provided. Biographical sources about the artist or ensemble follow.


Jazz history and scholarship are still not bosom pals, but regular fraternisation between the two has brought a rise in the standards of published research concerning the music and its practitioners.

Throughout the first two decades of this century the linking of jazz with supposedly sordid places caused a generation of musicologists to ignore the emerging art's origins and its finer points. By the late 1920s the situation had changed slightly: books were available that made an attempt to discuss jazz, but, even allowing for the pioneering spirit of the writers, it's clear that they had only the slenderest knowledge of the subject--and this was at a time when several jazz masters were at their peak.

During the late 1930s, passionate jazz enthusiasts wrote about their musical heroes in the growing number of specialist jazz magazines. There is a good deal of useful information within these publications, but all too often enthusiasm crowded out accuracy; the resultant myths are still circulating. One can't be hard on these devotees because there was such a scarcity of reliable jazz reference books.

The first beams of jazz scholarship shone out of the work of discographers; other reference works concerning jazz musicians' biographies were published, but it was to be some years before anyone assembled a bibliography devoted to jazz. Alan P. Merriam 1954 A Bibliography of Jazz was a welcome landmark. Since then several good efforts in this field have been published throughout the world; however, Gary Carner Jazz Performers has achieved a considerable breakthrough.

Carner's system of allocating every important jazz musician a listing containing published references to that performer's work will make it an invaluable tool for future jazz researchers; it will also provide accessible leads for jazz enthusiasts wanting to learn more about a particular . . .

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