Cover image for Jazz performers : an annotated bibliography of biographical materials
Jazz performers : an annotated bibliography of biographical materials
Carner, Gary.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwood Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
xviii, 364 pages ; 25 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML128.B3 C37 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



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, such as biographies, autobiographies, interview collections, musical treatises, bio-discographies, anthologies of newspaper articles, Master theses, and Ph.D. dissertations. With few exceptions, a work of at least 50 pages in length merits inclusion, providing it has a substantive biographical component or aids jazz research.

The main section of the work is an alphabetical listing of sources on individual jazz artists and ensembles. Jazz artists, as defined by Carner, are those who have made their mark as jazz performers and who have led the jazz life, playing the clubs and joints, not the legitimate concert stage, Broadway, Las Vegas, or the like. Thus, musicians such as Ray Charles or Frank Sinatra, who have recorded and performed with jazz ensembles, do not qualify for inclusion. Each bonafide jazz musician is given a separate section with birth, death, and primary instrumentation provided. Biographical sources about the artist or ensemble follow. Each entry is annotated to differentiate it from another and to present basic data on the source's content, such as the inclusion of a discography, bibliography, music examples and transcriptions, footnotes, indexes, illustrations, filmographies, and glossaries. An invaluable tool for jazz researchers and historians, Jazz Performers will also appeal to jazz enthusiasts in general.

Author Notes

GARY CARNER teaches Jazz Studies at Assumption College. He has written articles on jazz for the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz , Black Perspective in Music , Current Musicology , American Book Review , and numerous other publications. He is historian of the Jazz Worcester Society and is currently writing a study of baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams. Mr. Carner is also editing anthologies on composer Billy Strayhorn and on the literature of jazz.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Carner's bibliography is divided into three sections: an alphabetical listing of the performers, supplementary bibliographies, and author and subject indexes. The alphabetical section is the main body of the volume: each entry includes name (though not always full name), instrument, places and dates of birth and death, and bibliography. As the subtitle indicates, the bibliography is of a biographical nature, although it also includes works written or edited by the performers. The compiler, a teacher of jazz studies, defines a jazz performer as an "artist {{who}} exemplifies the oral tradition of jazz playing and had led the life of a jazz musician" (p. xiii), but some legitimate jazz musicians (e.g., Paul Jeffrey, a saxophonist in Thelonius Monk's band) are not included. Some musicians that Carner feels do not fit the definition are included in the supplementary bibliography section, but the lack of personal name subject access in this section makes it almost useless. Despite its shortcomings, the volume on the whole is an up-to-date, useful source. -J. Tsou, University of California, Berkeley

Table of Contents

ForewordJohn Chilton
Jazz Performers Supplementary Bibliography Collection Books General
Works Histories and Textbooks Illustrated Books Reference Books
Author Index
Subject Index