In this comprehensive, 860-page hardcover resource, Scott Yanow traces the history of jazz through its recordings. Most live performances from this 60-year period (1895 to 1976) are lost forever, but jazz fans can still experience a rich legacy of recorded work. Painstakingly sorting through and colorfully commenting on thousands of CDs and LPs, Yanow pointsout which performances are the most representative of the great 20th-ce ntury artists, and which recordings are essential to jazz fans' collections. Along the way, he takes readers on a journey through the golden ages of jazz, covering styles such as New Orleans jazz, swing, bebop, cool jazz, Dixieland, hard bop, soul jazz, the avant-garde, and fusion - and showing how these forms diverge, develop, and continue to flourish. A must for jazz fans, scholars and serious collectors.