Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-6757-4 • Hardback • September 2012 • $158.00 • (£123.00)
978-0-8108-7898-3 • eBook • September 2012 • $143.50 • (£111.00)
John S. Davis is Director of Jazz Studies and Associate Dean for the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder. He has been a jazz educator for more than 20 years and maintains an active schedule as a jazz clinician and guest conductor.
This book would be better suited to a circulating rather than a reference collection.
— American Reference Books Annual
With more than 1,500 brief, alphabetically arranged, and cross-referenced entries, this book covers
everything from slave songs to brass bands to contemporary jazz. Also featured are the influences of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, European classical music, and the Mississippi blues. Entries are devoted to influential performers and bandleaders, noteworthy venues, seminal recordings, popular record labels, and various jazz styles—bebop, swing, etc. The volume begins with a chronology starting in 1881, is followed by an introductory essay, and ends with an extensive bibliography. Recommended for most library collections.
In compiling this useful research tool, Davis (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder) draws on a deep knowledge of jazz. The 1,500-plus entries include important musicians, terms, places, and events. While terms such as "Blues" and "Bebop" are afforded short entries, "Jazz" does not appear in the dictionary proper. Instead, Davis provides a brief but informative introductory essay outlining the origins and history of jazz. Typical entries are short, highlighting careers of various figures, discussing the importance of places and events, and offering general descriptions of concepts. Longer entries, such as "Armstrong, Louis," can run several paragraphs, detailing performances, contributions, and influence. Content spans the gamut of jazz from its early influences in blues and popular entertainment to its contemporary manifestations. The work commences with a chronology starting with jazz's vaudeville roots in 1881 and ending with milestones through 2011. Davis caps off the dictionary with a short bibliographic essay and a useful bibliography arranged by subgenres and artists, including general works. Cross-referencing is done via boldface type and see also indications. The author draws on a rich background as trumpeter, conductor, and university teacher. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates, practitioners, and general readers.
— Choice Reviews
[T]his is a solid,. . . worthy reference book, with basic information of a wide variety of topics. It is up to date. The bibliography is substantial.
— Reference Reviews