Brian Morton

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Brian James Weir Morton (* 1954 in Paisley near Glasgow ) is a Scottish jazz writer, journalist and music critic.


Morton grew up in Dunoon and studied at Edinburgh University . He then taught at the University of East Anglia and the University of Tromsø in Norway. He was later a literary critic (and "Literary Editor") for the literary supplement "The Times Higher Education Supplement" by The Times and for the Times itself. He also wrote about jazz and generally as a music critic and was freelance from 1992 onwards. Among other things, he was often heard on the British BBC radio, where he hosted the fortnightly jazz program "Impressions" on Radio 3 from 1992 to 1997 and also moderated the music programs Composer of the Week and In Tune .

Morton hosted his own "The Brian Morton Show" and "The Usual Suspects" as Senior Editor at BBC Radio Scotland for ten years. In 2003 the contract was terminated after criticizing the BBC's cultural coverage. He currently lives on a farm in western Scotland with his current wife, landscape photographer Sarah MacDonald. He has one son and two daughters (from a previous marriage).


He is known as the co-author of "The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD" (or " The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings", 8th edition 2006), which was published in 1992 with Richard Cook , who died in 2007 . In addition to jazz, he also deals with modern classical music. With Pamela Collins he published the overview Contemporary Composers (Chicago: St. James Press) in 1992 . He wrote biographies on Shostakovich (Haus Publishers, 2007), Prince (Canongate Books 2007) and Miles Davis (Haus 2005) and has also published Modern Music - a Book of Words .

Morton is editor of "The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Contemporary Music" (1996). He writes for Jazz Review Magazine and briefly was its editor in 2008. He also writes columns for the Scottish edition of the Observer . Morton also works as a translator from Norwegian, including short stories by Jonas Lie . He also wrote frequently for the Jazz Review , which he directed for a short time (2008) after the death of Richard Cook. In 2009 he published a biography of EA Poe ( Edgar Allan Poe (Life & Times) , House, 2009, ISBN 978-1-905791-52-1 ).


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