The ninth and potentially final edition of The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings is now available. Diligently written and edited by Brian Morton and the late Richard Cook, who passed away shortly before this edition was completed, this is one of the most comprehensive and respected reference texts in jazz.
Jazz aficionados are always anxious to debate the details, such as who and what was included, the ratings system, and, of course, the individual reviews themselves, but more importantly it’s worth noting all the time, effort, experience and skill that goes into creating such a massive volume (including the index, the book is over 1600 pages).
I’m as confident as anyone about my writing skills and ability to oversee difficult projects, and I couldn’t even begin to imagine what’s involved in putting something like this together once, let alone nine editions over the course of a decade and a half. These are two of the most capable and insightful reviewers in jazz, and while no one will agree with everything they write, their perspectives are informed by an unfathomable amount of close listening to an unfathomable number of recordings.
It has been my pleasure to interact with both of these men during the course of my career and I am honored to report that dozens of our clients’ releases are included in this new issue. For the reasons stated above and so many others, I encourage you to grab a copy for yourself. At just over $20, it’s one of the best bargains out there, not to mention very likely one of the last books of its kind to be seen in print.