Here is a brilliant and deeply informed overview of jazz history, one which gives a rich sense of who the major figures were and how they fit in with one another while showing the reader what to listen for and which recordings are indispensable for a full experience of the music. No other book fuses a singular examination of the key recordings with a presentation of the entire sweep of the music's classic period to provide the listener with such a useful and spirited companion.
Winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, presented annually by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers to American authors and journalists whose books and articles on the subject of music are selected for their excellence.
“I believe this will become a cornerstone of the literature on jazz, essential for every decent music library, and will make a marked contribution. Tom Piazza is a major new voice in jazz criticism, a voice with insight, style, and authority.”—John Edward Hasse, curator of American music, Smithsonian Institution
“The best of its kind by far, and likely to remain so. Invaluable to the novice, revealing even to seasoned fans, Piazza's Guide is truly that and will not only make you listen but also hear…”—Dan Morgenstern, director, Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University
“Piazza's knowledge and understanding of jazz music are wide and deep, and his own experience as a player has given him a window into the music that few critics have. The Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz is the best guide to the music's development that I know of…extremely valuable both to longtime fans and to those checking out the music for the first time.”—Wynton Marsalis
“Piazza…has produced what will probably become a standard…An excellent addition for all jazz collections, public and academic.”—Choice