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Where to Find Jazz Biographies

JazzBiographies.com is the fastest way to find internet jazz biographies. No more wading through fruitless search results!

Click on Contents to see our web pages for over 2000 jazz artists and writers. Each page provides a written biography or links to the best biographies we have found on the web.

Some of the biography websites that we recommend on our pages are listed below. Click on any of the links for a review of that website (with regard to jazz biographies).

AllAboutJazz.com
AllMusic.com
Downbeat.com
DrummerWorld.com
HardBop.com
IBDB.com
IMDB.com
Jazz.com
JazzDiscography.com
JazzReview.com
Parabrisas.com
PBS.org
RedHotJazz.com
Scaruffi.com
SongwritersHallofFame.org
Wikipedia.org

Record label websites are also interesting and can provide useful information. The major record labels have substantial biographies. Most offer descriptions of individual CD’s, song lists with audio clips, and online stores. Labels which produce other music as well as jazz can be accessed by musical genre. We favorably compared four large labels with a few differences: ConcordMusicGroup.com offers select free downloads; Bluenote.com has homepage links to articles, news stories, and Bluenote radio; Telarc.com provides a personnel list for each CD. To maintain an artist tour roster for a large label is a daunting task, so it is no wonder that Telarc’s is not complete or that Blue Note’s is mostly blank. However, VerveMusicGroup.com includes tour dates on artist pages along with a variety of links and space for reader comments.

Jazz has always had a large share of the independent label market, so we looked at some well known “indies.” Munich-based ECM (ECMRecords.com), established in 1969 by Manfred Eicher, has a roster that represents artists from around the world. There are album descriptions but no artist biographies; however, the website maintains an up-to-date artist tour schedule. Criss Cross Records, founded in 1980 and based in the Netherlands (CrissCrossJazz.com), has a fascinating feature which allows visitors to look up a song title and access each album in which it is featured. It has no online store but provides links to sellers. Sunnyside Records has been around since 1982 and has a sophisticated website (SunnySideRecords.com) which continually streams complete selections from albums instead of one-minute snippets. The site provides biographies and also offers vinyl for sale.

Review
AllMusic.com AllMusic

Number of jazz biographies 3000+
Words per biography (avg.) from 200+ to 2000+
Genres covered All
Pros In addition to biographies, the site offers research by song which lists each artist who has recorded it. There is also a link to specific albums which provides cover art, song title, composer, and running time. There is a special category for classical work. Information seems to be kept up-to-date.
Cons Don’t expect to find original recording dates in the song listings as only issue dates are provided since many of the older recordings are not available in their original format. Also instrumentals on vocalists’ album are not designated as such which can be misleading. The search engine is slow, often resulting in multiple “time outs” which can be discouraging. Also the total number of recordings of a song includes multiple reissues.

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