Gray (director of the Black Arts Research Center, Nyack, New York, and author of several other bibliographies, including Blacks in Classical Music (CH Dec '88), has provided superb coverage of the literature concerning the new jazz period. With more than 7,100 unannotated entries, he updates and surpasses both Eddie Meadows's Jazz Reference and Research Materials (CH Mar '82) and Bernhard Hefele's Jazz bibliography (1981). Meadows covers earlier periods well, and Hefele is good for European material, but Gray's work covers both American and European works on the period nearly comprehensively. Materials include books, dissertations, periodicals, newspapers, films, videos, audiotapes; most are in English or French but there are a number in other major Western languages. Concert and record reviews are included for major artists only. Six major sections include a detailed chronology, African American cultural history and the arts, general works and country and regional studies, jazz collectives and cooperative record labels, jazz lofts, and biographical and critical studies of more than 400 individual artists and ensembles (this last providing 80;pc of the bulk of the work). Appendixes cite reference works consulted, identify archives and research centers, and give country and instrument lists of new jazz artists. The cross-references and indexes (artist, subject, and author) provide detailed access, but do include many unsubdivided entries. No discographies are provided, but useful discographies are cited. A solid contribution to jazz research. Both public and academic libraries.
Gray, who has also compiled Blacks in Film and Television (Greenwood, 1990) and Blacks in Classical Music (Greenwood, 1988), begins with a sketchy `New Jazz Chronology' followed by a hearty classified bibliography that includes books, articles, dissertations and theses, and media materials. Sources in languages other than English are seperately listed within each category. The bulk of the book covers `Biographical and Critical Studies' arranged alphabetically by artists or group name. The scope is international, and subjects are mostly American or British. Where there are many articles about a person, helpful subdivisions by broad topic (`concert reviews,' `obituaries,' `discographies,' etc.) are provided. Appendixes list reference works, research centers, artists by country, and artists by instrument. Author, title, and subject indexes are included.
this informative work is an important addition to the jazz reference literature. There are very few bibliographies in jazz studies as well organized as Fire Music. Musicians, researchers, jazz fans, and libraries will find it an important addition to their collections.