The Penguin Jazz Guide

Brian Morton (and others)

Richard Cook and Brian Morton's Penguin Jazz Guide: The History of the Music in 1001 Best Albums is an indispensible guide to the recordings that every fan should know.

Richard Cook and Brian Morton's Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings is firmly established as the world's leading guide to the music. In this book, Brian Morton has picked out 1001 essential recordings from their acclaimed guide, adding new information, revising and reassessing each entry, and showing how these key pieces tell the history of the music - and with it the history of the twentieth century.

These are the essential albums that that all true jazz fans should own, or - at the very least - have listened to, from Kind of Blue to lesser-known classics and more surprising choices. Full of fascinating updated biographical information, new quotes and interviews and, of course, highly opinionated and wittily trenchant critical reviews, the result is an endlessly browsable companion that will prove required reading for aficionados and jazz novices alike.

'One of the great books of recorded jazz; the other guides don't come close'<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Irish Times

'It's the kind of book that you'll yank off the shelf to look up a quick fact and still be reading two hours later' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;Fortune

'The leader in its field ... If you own only one book on jazz, it really should be this one' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;International Record Review

'Indispensable and incomparable' <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;NME

Brian Morton is a freelance writer and broadcaster who for many years presented Radio 3's jazz magazine Impressions and In Tune.

Richard Cook (1957-2007) was formerly editor of The Wire and edited Jazz Review. He contributed to many other publications, including the New Statesman and his books included Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopaedia and It's About That Time: Miles Davis on Record.

Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia

Richard Cook

Richard Cook’s Jazz Encyclopedia is not merely an A-Z guide to the artists and bands who have shaped jazz, but it also tracks the history of jazz and its changing styles. This is a wonderfully accessible work. Richard Cook's passion for jazz and his strongly held opinions make this the liveliest and most trenchantly witty encyclopedia you'll have read. Whether you're trying to find out why Louis Armstrong was called Satchmo (his nickname as a kid was Satchelmouth), what bebop is, or the difference between Gil Evans and Bill Evans – this book has all the answers.


Richard Cook has been writing about music since the 1970s: he has contributed to the NME, Wire (he was their editor for seven years) and the Sunday Times, and is co-author of The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. He has also been a record industry executive and is a regular broadcaster.