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Music Hound Jazz: The Essential Album Guide

Edited by Steve Holtje and Nancy Ann Lee

Visible Ink Press

The Music Hound Jazz Essential Album Guide is a 1390 page shopping list to the best in jazz. Every jazz performer you’ve ever heard of is here, and hundreds more that you haven’t. Its purpose is to provide a resource for the fan to use when faced with the multitude of recordings out there, a task that becomes daunting when you realize that jazz artists are far more prolific than those in most other genres, and not everything they put out is good. The guide ranks each artist’s catalog, from “What to Buy” to “What to Avoid,” with recommendations from dozens of writers. Each artist is profiled, their influences cited, as well as others that they themselves influenced. John Coltrane, for instance, is listed as an influence on 133 different artists. The book is well researched and presented, and is easy to use. Also included is a sampler from Blue Note, featuring artists such as Chet Baker and Bud Powell. As a reference book, a shopping guide, or just a way to kill a few hours, this book is invaluable. Visible Ink Press, 835 Penobscot Bldg., 645 Griswold St., Detroit, MI 48226

--James Mann