Buttoning Down An Oxford

As the new century loomed, it was an honor when Bill Kirchner asked me to contibute to a book he was editing. It turned out to be one of the most significant anthologies ever published about jazz. Now Kirchner announces that the book is entering its next stage of life. Here’s his message.

In the fall of 2000, The Oxford Companion to Jazz was published—864 pages long, with 60 essays by 59 distinguished musicians, scholars, and critics. In 2001, the Jazz Journalists Association voted it “Best Jazz Book” of the year. And it received over 50 reviews worldwide, about 90 percent of them positive. My favorite “review,” though, came from composer-arranger Johnny Mandel, who remarked: “Putting this book together must have been like being contractor for the Ellington band.”
I’m pleased to announce that this month, the Companion has just become available in a new paperback edition, complete with a number of small additions and corrections. It can be purchased in bookstores internationally as well as from a variety of Internet outlets. At, I might add, an even more reasonable price than previously: $29.95 U.S. (retail).
If you haven’t yet checked out this book (which a number of schools have used as a textbook), I hope that the following list of essays and contributors will serve as encouragement.
1) African Roots of Jazz—Samuel A. Floyd, Jr.
2) European Roots of Jazz—William H. Youngren
3) Ragtime Then and Now—Max Morath
4) The Early Origins of Jazz—Jeff Taylor
5) New York Roots: Black Broadway, James Reese Europe, Early Pianists—Thomas L. Riis
6) The Blues in Jazz—Bob Porter
7) Bessie Smith—Chris Albertson
8) King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, and Sidney Bechet: Ménage à Trois, New Orleans Style—Bruce Boyd Raeburn
9) Louis Armstrong—Dan Morgenstern
10) Bix Beiderbecke—Digby Fairweather
11) Duke Ellington—Mark Tucker
12) Hot Music in the 1920s: The “Jazz Age,” Appearances and Realities—Richard M. Sudhalter
13) Pianists of the 1920s and 1930s—Henry Martin
14) Coleman Hawkins—Kenny Berger
15) Lester Young—Loren Schoenberg
16) Major Soloists of the 1930s and 1940s—John McDonough
17) Jazz Singing: Between Blues and Bebop—Joel E. Siegel
18) Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Billie Holiday—Patricia Willard
19) Jazz and the American Song—Gene Lees
20) Pre-Swing Era Big Bands and Jazz Composing and Arranging—James T.Maher & Jeffrey Sultanof
21) Swing Era Big Bands and Jazz Composing and Arranging—Max Harrison
22) The Advent of Bebop—Scott DeVeaux
23) The New Orleans Revival—Richard Hadlock
24) Charlie Parker—James Patrick
25) Cool Jazz and West Coast Jazz—Ted Gioia
26) Jazz and Classical Music: To the Third Stream and Beyond—Terry Teachout
27) Pianists of the 1940s and 1950s—Dick Katz
28) Hard Bop—Gene Seymour
29) Miles Davis—Bob Belden
30) Big Bands and Jazz Composing and Arranging After World War II—Doug Ramsey
31) Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus—Brian Priestley
32) John Coltrane—Lewis Porter
33) The Avant-Garde, 1949-1967—Lawrence Kart
34) Pianists of the 1960s and 1970s—Bob Blumenthal
35) Jazz Singing Since the 1940s—Will Friedwald
36) Jazz Since 1968—Peter Keepnews
37) Fusion—Bill Milkowski
38) Jazz Repertory—Jeffrey Sultanof
39) Latin Jazz—Gene Santoro
40) Jazz in Europe: The Real World Music…or The Full Circle—Mike Zwerin
41) Jazz and Brazilian Music—Stephanie L. Stein Crease
42) Jazz in Africa: The Ins and Outs—Howard Mandel
43) Jazz in Japan—Kiyoshi Koyama
44) Jazz in Canada and Australia—Terry Martin
45) The Clarinet in Jazz—Michael Ullman
46) The Saxophone in Jazz—Don Heckman
47) The Trumpet in Jazz—Randy Sandke
48) The Trombone in Jazz—Gunther Schuller
49) The Electric Guitar and Vibraphone in Jazz: Batteries Not Included—Neil Tesser
50) Miscellaneous Instruments in Jazz—Christopher Washburne
51) The Bass in Jazz—Bill Crow
52) Jazz Drumming—Burt Korall
53) Jazz and Dance—Robert P. Crease
54) Jazz and Film and Television—Chuck Berg
55) Jazz Clubs—Vincent Pelote
56) Jazz and American Literature—Gerald Early
57) Jazz Criticism—Ron Welburn
58) Jazz Education—Charles Beale
59) Recorded Jazz—Dan Morgenstern
60) Jazz Improvisation and Concepts of Virtuosity—David Demsey

It’s nice to be in such good company…again. If you are an online shopper, you can find The Oxford Companion to Jazz by following this link.

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