Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Look at Scott Yanow's New Book!

A new book by Scott Yanow has been released that focuses exclusively on jazz guitarists. It's entitled The Great Jazz Guitarists, The Ultimate Guide. If you are a jazz fan, as I am, you should find this book an excellent resource. Yanow has written ten previous books and an incredible amount of other jazz related writings. He knows his stuff. Calling the book The Great Jazz Guitarists, your favorite local jazz guitarist might not be included, but, a very large amount of guitarists actually are. Even ones from abroad like Lino Patruno of Italy.

The book contains several guitarists that George A. Borgman knew, interviewed or wrote about including Al Casey, Marty Grosz, Gray Sargent, and Bucky Pizzarelli.

My personal favorite jazz is early to Swing, when it gets to bee-bop I kind of lose interest, however, this book has all the best from every era. Some of the ones from my favorite era are Eddie Condon, Lonnie Johnson, Eddie Lang and Dick McDonough. I'm a little surprised I couldn't find Johnny St. Cyr, however, who doesn't seem to have made the list.

The book starts off with an interesting and well written "Introduction" then comes the main section which lists "342 Great Jazz Guitarists" in alphabetical order. The entries are concise but contain a great deal of information. As Yanow did in his book Classic Jazz: The Musicians and Recordings That Shaped Jazz, 1895-1933, he has some CD and record recommendations to search for at the end of each entry.

The next section lists "44 Other Historic Guitarists" then after this is "175 Other Jazz Guitarists on the Scene Today." Amazingly there's another section called, "They Also Played Jazz Guitar" which includes a variety of musicians who have at some time actually played jazz guitar, such as rocker Peter Frampton, cornet player Bobby Hacket and trumpeter Oscar Klein!

But wait! There's more! "Jazz Guitarists on Film" gives a good sized list of DVDs, a few VHS tapes and even the 10 best performances on film and "Best Ghosting by a Jazz Guitarist." The book ends with a listing of other people's books on jazz guitarists.

The book contains a lot of jazz guitarists, both living and dead, many of whom I have never heard of and a few that I plan to seek out. All around a pretty excellent book.

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