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 Post subject: The Jazz Discography
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2002 7:27 am
Posts: 86
Location: Rochester, NY
Jesse has urged me to post about this:

I've been following The Jazz Discography for years now, but have never purchased it because of its cost. For those who have never heard of it, The Jazz Discography is a comprehensive catalog of virtually every jazz recording session ever made. For real. I have yet to find anything, even in my bootleg collection, that's not listed in this thing.

This project has been compiled for decades by this guy, Tom Lord, and for decades it was only available in huge encyclopedia-sized book form for thousands of dollars. Obviously not worth the money to me. *Then* it was available on searchable CD-ROM for hundreds of dollars. More useful but still kinda pricey. Finally, they recently opened it up to a web subscription, which is updated daily, and works out to something like $15 a month. Definitely a price I can handle, plus I can access it from anywhere.

Since I've gotten it, I've identified (and purchased) multiple recordings by George Reed from the 50's and 60's, gotten new insight into Slim and Slam alternate takes, and found out my rare Johnny Hodges bootleg was released on CD as well as the totally ghetto LP I own.

This probably isn't worth it for the casual DJ, but I find it immensely useful. Check it out at www.lordisco.com

Mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 10:42 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
I've been using this lately (c/o a university library), and it's absolutely stunning.

I've been using this to put together complete details for my online purchases in particular (esp those chron classics on emusic). Well, that's where I started. Then I realised that having the full band personnel listing was really fascinating - who played with whom, when? And then there's the date and location for each recording... I was also really surprised by how important live broadcasts were - it's been really useful to compare these radio broadcasts with what (little) I know about early radio and early record labels...


So, if you do have access to a copy of this (and when I say 'a copy', I mean all 20-odd volumes, or the website or the CD rom), it's worth having a little peak, just out of curiousity (my 'little peak' leapt from a couple of hours one afternoon to a week with the discography + the library's (amazing) recorded music collection. Semester holiday = no students = WIN!).

It's listed by band for the majority of the volumes, but it also has a special volume (or two) index to song titles and a volume for the index to artists. The latter is especially interesting if you're wondering exactly which bands someone like Louis Armstrong played with.

Every time I see a 'favourite version of...' song thread on SwingDJs, I'm going to think about the song index... :D


Perhaps the best bit has been looking through an artist's section and seeing that they've recorded a particular song. And then, suddenly, being overcome by an irresistible desire to have it. Or hear it. Or dance to it. In that order. I've been left thinking "how would blahblah have played that song at that moment with that band?" so many times. I've also found that this type of research has focussed my collecting. I'm on a tight budget, so my purchases have to be very careful; the discography has helped me target my interests.
The discography has also made it clear that the chronological classics simply are the most comprehensive collections of an artist's work over a short period of time - every song is there. The Mosaic sets are almost as good (though they tend to focus on an artist's time with a label, so you miss a few things). And I've also been surprised to see just how useful those cheapy 'compilation' CDs can be - things turn up there that can point you in the right direction. I think of them as useful 'samples' rather serious additions to my collection, though.


I've also found the redhotjazz.com archive really useful as a starter point for following artists. But now I want to look beyond this particular period/style. Is there another useful online guide like this, dealing with 'swing', perhaps? I'm after an 'encyclopaedia' type guide, not a comprehensive history. I've been using redhotjazz as an encyclopaedia - the first point in a more in-depth study. Meanwhile, I'm trying to squeeze in some more library time before the students come back. The best thing about looking at jazz stuff in the Conservatorium of Music library, is that it's very much neglected; the kids are totally into Bach these days, and have no interest in jazz. Sweet!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:52 pm 
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Location: London
I'm a monthly subscriber to the online edition, and yes, it's very good. It don't think it lists every 20th century jazz recording, but it does have a huge number. The online edition seems to be very good value.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:41 pm
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Location: Malmö, Sweden
Version 11.0 of The JAZZ Discography by Tom Lord is now available! If you own the CD-ROM version 3.3 or higher, the upgrade is only $160.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 8:20 pm
Posts: 736
Location: Perth, Australia
I'm thinking of finally subscribing to this. A few quick questions...

Can you copy and paste from TJD Online into say, iTunes?
Are those that are using it happy with the value/features?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:36 am
Posts: 1277
Location: London
trev wrote:
I'm thinking of finally subscribing to this. A few quick questions...

Can you copy and paste from TJD Online into say, iTunes?
Are those that are using it happy with the value/features?

I'd recommend it Trev. I used it for about a year, and then cancelled because I wanted to reduce my outgoings and it's the sort of thing (like a monthly eMusic subscription) that you can easily forget about and fail to use. They seem very helpful and responsive - I'm sure they would respond to email questions you have. I think you can copy and paste from it, and I was certainly happy with the value and features while I subscribed.


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