This is a guide to reference material on jazz in the Music Library of the University of the Arts. If you have questions about this guide contact the Music Librarian.



Carles, Philippe et al. Dictionnaire du Jazz. Nouv. ed. Paris: Robert Laffont, 1994.
Includes entries for instruments and terminology. The biographical entries are reasonably detailed and strong in their coverage of jazz's international influence; many include seminal discographic references.
REF ML102 .J3C23 1994

Carr, Ian et al. Jazz : The Essential Companion. New York: Prentice Hall, 1988.
The brief biographies have been superseded by Kernfeld (below), but the term definitions and essays on various styles remain useful.
REF ML102 .J3C28 1988

Jenkins, Todd. Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia. 2 vols. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2004.
A relatively detailed chronology precedes the alphabetically arranged entries, which in many of the biographical cases are extensive.  Includes corporate bodies, recording labels, and publication organs of historical significance.  Well indexed.
          REF ML102 .J3J45 2004
Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 2002. 3 vols.
An encyclopedia (terms, instruments, recording labels, musicians, groups, festivals, clubs, archives), not merely a dictionary, despite the title. With over 5,000 biographical entries, each with bibliography and select discography, and nearly 1,000 pertaining to forms and styles, this is the premiere work of its kind.
REF ML102 .J3N48 2002

Kinkle, Roger. The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950. New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1974. 4 vols.
Biographical entries for contributors to American musics 1900-1950; current to ca. 1974. Includes chronological listing of musicals and popular songs and their composers. Appendixes include jazz poll winners, time-chart of release dates for major record companies1924-45, and numerical listings for major labels. Artist and title indexes.
REF ML102 .P831K4

McClellan, Lawrence. The Later Swing Era, 1942-1955. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2004.
Begins with substantive essays on major figures, big bands, vocalists, and small groups, and concludes with an alphabetically arranged sequence of shorter entries. A practical approach to a specifially defined period.
          REF ML102 .J3M33 2004

Larkin, Colin, ed. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 8 vols. London: Muze, 1998.
Previous editions known as The Guiness Encyclopedia. Primarily biographical; contains a significant number of entries for jazz musicians, but is weak and uneven in historical and terminological areas.
REF ML102 .P831E6 1998


Chilton, John. Who's Who of British Jazz. 2nd ed. London: Continuum, 2004.
Over 900 biographical entries documenting eighty years of jazz in Britain.
REF ML106 .G786C5 2004
Chilton, John. Who's Who of Jazz: Storyville to Swing. New York: DaCapo Press, 1985.  Reprint ed.
Biographies of American musicians born before 1920; includes many not covered by New Grove (above) or Feather (below).
REF ML106 .U58C3 1985

Feather, Leonard & Ira Gitler. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
A recasting and expansion of the 3 books Feather compiled about jazz musicians in the '50s-'70s, which are still worth consulting (see REF ML105 .F288E5 ff.). Detailed biographical entries for musicians of a wide range of (overlapping) musical fields of activity. The last of the earlier volumes were current only to 1975, so the new work presents a considerable fund of new material.
REF ML105 .F288B5 1999

Southern, Eileen. Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982.
Biographical entries for 1500 musicians of African descent born between 1642 and 1945, and so including early jazz and blues figures.
REF ML105 .S67 1982


Carner, Gary. Jazz Performers: An Annotated Bibliography of Biographical Materials. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1990.
Alphabetical listings by artist with bibliographical citations by author, made accessible through author and subject indexes. Appendixes include General Works; Histories and Textbooks; and Reference Books.
REF ML128 .J42C3 1990

Goodfellow, William. Where's that Tune?: An Index to Songs in Fakebooks. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1990.
Includes bibliography of (legit) books. Establishes whether and where tunes were anthologized through the 1980s--adequate for standards but otherwise sadly out of date.
REF ML128 .P63G6 1990

Gray, John. Fire Music : A Bibliography of the New Jazz, 1959-1990. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
Entries not annotated, but coverage international and comprehensive (over 7,000 bibliographic entries).
REF ML128 .J42G6 1991

Kuzmich, John. An Annotated Survey of Teaching Materials for Jazz Improvisation. 2nd ed. Manhattan, Kan.: International Association of Jazz Educators, 1996.
With brief annotations for pedagogical materials in printed, recorded sound, video and interactive formats.
REF ML128 .J42K9 1996

Meadows, Eddie. Jazz Research and Performance Materials. 2nd ed. New York: Garland Publishing, 1995.
Selective but wide-ranging, with many annotations. Distinctive because of its inclusion of "Technical Materials" on arranging and composing, instructional materials (including method books), and unpublished theses from a variety of disciplines.
REF ML128 .J42M4 1995

Meeker, David. Jazz in the Movies. New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1977.
A first and still unsurpassed filmography, documenting the occurrences of jazz musicians in commercially issued films from 1917 to 1977.
REF ML128 .M7M44 1977

Voigt, John. "Jazz Music: A Selected Bibliography of Available Materials," in Annual Review of Jazz Studies 7 (1994-95): 217-249.
Highly selective but thus far unique tool for finding notated representations of jazz. Criteria for inclusion unclear: includes both solo transcription anthologies and score-and-part publications that are not technically transcriptions. Inconsistent citation of pedagogical materials.
ML3505.8 .A68 1994-95


Dunscomb, J. Richard [et al.] Jazz Pedagogy. Miami: Warner Bros., 2002.
Chapters range from the incorporation of cultural context into practical ensemble coaching to the use of new classroom technologies and administration.
REF MT10 .D85 2002

Jarvis, Jeff and Doug Beach. The Jazz Educator's Handbook. Delevan, N.Y.: Kendor Music, 2002.
Highly focused on musical instruction: rehearsal techniques, analytical listening, improvisation.
REF MT10 .J279 2002


Bird, Christane. Da Capo Jazz and Blues Lover's Guide to the U.S. 3rd ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo, 2001.
Historical summaries organized by geographical area precede entries on current performance venues.
REF ML13 .B45D3 2001

Clynes, Tom. Music Festivals from Bach to Blues. Detroit: Visible Ink, 1996.
Contact information and venue descriptions for roughly 1,000 festivals throughout North America.
REF ML35 .C59M8 1996


Baraka, Amiri. The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues. New York: Wm. Morrow, 1987.
Poetry, prose, and criticism by jazz writing's provocateur.
REF ML3556 .J77B3 1987

Cooke, Mervyn. The Chronicle of Jazz. New York: Abbeville Press, 1998.
Elaborately illustrated chronology celebrating important developments year by year, 1895-1995.
REF ML3506 .C66C4 1998

Harrison, Max et al. The Essential Jazz Records. 2 vols. London: Mansell, 2000.
This is an idiosyncratic, sometimes brilliant critical survey that focuses on the evaluation of music more than on discographic details, though it is classed with discographies owing to its format and relevance there. A sophisticated contribution to the jazz literature.
REF ML156.4 .J42H3

O'Meally, Robert, ed. The Jazz Cadence of American Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.
Compilation of mostly recent critical and analytical essays, all relating jazz to wider cultural themes.
REF ML3508 .J39 1998

Stearns, Marshall and Jean Stearns. Jazz Dance : The Story of American Vernacular Dance. Reprint ed. New York: Da Capo Press, 1994.
American dancing that evolved alongside jazz, to ca. 1950. Written by the enthusiast whose library of jazz materials became the core of the Rutgers Jazz Institute collections. Much commentary on jazz musicians and musical style.
REF GV1623 .S74 1994

Walser, Robert, ed. Keeping Time : Readings in Jazz History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
An exceptional anthology of source readings from the earliest years to the 1990s. Thoughtfully annotated and meticulously edited, one of the best-conceived publications ever produced in the field of jazz studies.
REF ML3507 .K4 1999

Two notes on periodical indexes and general jazz discography:

1) There is no current indexing agency that addresses jazz periodicals exclusively, but music periodicals in English are indexed in three publishers' cumulations:

--Répertoire Internationale de Littérature Musicale, or RILM.
Abstracts, indexes most formats (books, conference reports, theses, as well as periodicals), though emphasizes coverage of scholarly publications. Has the advantage of providing content abstracts in addition to citations. The print edition, available in Music Library, begins coverage with 1967. Consult quinquennial (5-year) index volumes when available.
REF ML1 .I83 (located on central REF shelves)

--The Music Index has expanded its coverage over the years to include most English and major foreign-language jazz periodicals; has included Down Beat and Metronome from its inception. For the print edition, published since 1949 and available in the Music Library, each volume must be consulted separately. All authors, subjects, and titles in a single alphabetical listing. Also indexes reviews.
REF ML118 .M987M8 (located on central REF shelves)

--International Index to Music Periodicals, or IIMP, is a recent undertaking that is published on CD-ROM and on the Web. For the present its usefulness lies in its being the most up-to-date index, but its coverage is gradually extending chronologically backwards and it promises full text access to articles in the future. The Music Library subscribes to the CD-ROM edition.

For a recommended view of the publishing situation in this field, read Kathleen Abromeit's review of Music Index and IIMP CD-ROMs in Notes 53 (1996-97): 1215-1220.

2) There are several large discographical projects that have aimed at comprehensiveness; the Music Library has not subscribed to them, but they can be consulted in the music collection of the Van Pelt Library of the University of Pennsylvania nearby. There is an excellent summary of the state of jazz discography: Barry Kernfeld's "Comprehensive Discographies of Jazz, Blues, and Gospel," Notes 51 (1994-95): 501-47, 865-91.

For the most part, jazz discography has been the domain of collectors and has seemed an end in itself; critical use of jazz discography is in its infancy, but see the imaginative use of it in Richard Crawford's "Notes on Jazz Standards by Black Authors and Composers, 1899-1942," in New Perspectives on Music: Essays in Honor of Eileen Southern, ed. Josephine Wright (Warren, Mich.: Harmonie Park Press, 1992): 245-287 (ML55 .S727 1992), and the companion study Jazz Standards on Record, 1900-1942: A Core Repertory. (CBMR Monographs, 4.) Chicago: Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College, 1992 (REF ML156.4 .J42C7 1992)

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