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The Chronicle of Jazz — Mervyn Cooke

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"The Chronicle of Jazz is so comprehensive in its coverage of the music, personalities, events, influences, and artifacts of jazz over more than a century that one might consider it the only primer needed to discern or rediscover the intricacies of this distinctly American art form... This is a book worthy of any jazz fan's bookshelf."

— Michael Cala, New York Journal of Books

A year-by-year history of people and events, this lively multi-layered account tells the whole story of jazz music and its personalities. 

The Chronicle of Jazz charts the evolution of jazz from its roots in Africa and the southern United States to the myriad urban styles heard around the world today. Mervyn Cooke gives us a narrative rich with innovation, experimentation, controversy, and emotion.

The book is completely up to date, exploring the exciting recent developments in the world of jazz, from the rise of modern Big Bands and the renaissance of the piano trio to the popular appeal of Jamie Cullum and HBO's Treme.

Featuring hundreds of rare images, from record-cover artwork to pictures of live performances, each chronologically arranged section contains special box features on such topics as the unique tonal qualities of the bass clarinet, jazz clubs in Paris, personality sketches, and seminal gigs and albums.

A substantial reference section features information on international jazz festivals, a glossary of musical terms, biographies of musicians, and extensive discography, and further reading.

A celebration of the most imaginative and enduring music of the last 120 years, The Chronicle of Jazz is an essential work of reference for all music lovers.


  • Condition: New. Hardcover
  • Edition: First Edition - Published November 2013
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN-13: 9780199341009
  • Pages: 272 Pages | 347 illustrations, 125 in color
  • Dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)
  • Rating:★★★★★ (See FAQs)
  • Dr. Mervyn Cooke is Professor of Music at the University of Nottingham and has published extensively on the history of jazz, film music, and the music of Benjamin Britten.

    His most recent books include The Cambridge Companion to Jazz, The Hollywood Film Music Reader, The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera and Letters from a Life: The Selected Letters of Benjamin Britten.