Cover image for Jazz : a critic's guide to the 100 most important recordings
Title:
Jazz : a critic's guide to the 100 most important recordings
Author:
Ratliff, Ben.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Times Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
xx, 250 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Electronic Access:
Publisher description http://www.loc.gov/catdir/description/hol021/2002069551.html
ISBN:
9780805070682
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
ML156.4.J3 R37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...
Searching...
ML156.4.J3 R37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
ML156.4.J3 R37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
ML156.4.J3 R37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
ML156.4.J3 R37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
ML156.4.J3 R37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

A connoisseur's tour through the great American art form

A Love Supreme. Miles Ahead. Brubeck Time. Yardbird Suite. The Sidewinder . For newcomers just beginning their library of recordings, and for longtime fans looking to deepen their understanding, New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff offers an assertive, deeply knowledgeable collector's guide, full of opinions and insights on the one hundred greatest recorded works of jazz.

From the rare early recordings of Louis Armstrong, through Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman's seminal Carnegie Hall concert, and the lions of the bebop era, to the transformative Miles Davis and several less-canonized artists, such as Chano Pozo, Jimmy Giuffre, and Greg Osby, who have made equally significant contributions, Ratliff places each recording in the greater context and explains its importance in the development of the form. Taken together, these original essays add up to a brief history of jazz, highlighting milestone events, legendary players, critical trends, and artistic breakthroughs.


Author Notes

Ben Ratliff is the jazz critic at The New York Times . He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two sons.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ratliff's essential jazz-records book separates itself from the herd at once by starting its chronological listing with The Creators of Jazz by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the white outfit that ever since it recorded jazz first has been tarred for crudely ripping off black music. Ratliff defends the ODJB's music making as well as its historic importance while granting that its leader may have been the worst racist in jazz history. Later, he includes, with warm appreciation, Latin jazz players Chano Pozo, Machito, Eddie Palmieri, and Moacir Santos, who aren't even listed in some huge jazz record guides. He has smart and persuasive essays on why underrated popular jazzmen John Kirby, Ahmad Jamal, and "Baby Face" Willette deserve places in the pantheon. He even gives the nod to difficult, dissonant experimenters Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Roscoe Mitchell, and Evan Parker, whom many jazz historians barely tolerate. All that, and Armstrong, Ellington, Holiday, Basie, Tatum, "Bird," Monk, Mingus, Miles, and the others everybody expects to be in on this jam, too. Damn good book. --Ray Olson


Library Journal Review

Ratliff, a music critic for the New York Times, presents essays on what he considers the 100 most important jazz recordings. In each, he discusses a recording's merits and shortcomings and includes a list of its performers. He seems to address the younger or potential jazz fan; otherwise, how could one explain his comparisons of mid-20th century jazz performances to those of Nirvana and Sonic Youth? Straight and to the point, Ratliff acts as an advocate for what he sees as a popular art form in need of an infusion of interest. This informative book is heavy on obvious albums by Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, and Charlie Parker, but the inclusion of Jeanne Lee, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, "Baby Face" Willette, and present-day phenomenon Jason Moran illustrates Ratliff's catholic view of the jazz genre. Also included is a list (title, main performer, date, and record label information only) of a second 100 recordings. This might not be a book that jazz fans will buy for their personal libraries-they have probably already formed their own tastes and list of favorites-but as a guide for the uninitiated it is essential for academic music libraries and public libraries large and small. It would also be most useful for collection development librarians building a well-rounded jazz CD collection.-James E. Perone, Mt. Union Coll., Alliance, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.