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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.