Max Harrison

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Max Harrison is a British music critic and jazz writer.


Harrison began writing for Jazz Monthly in 1955 and wrote about classical music for The Times and Gramophone in London (regularly from 1967 to 1990). He wrote two books on essential jazz records, including a. with Eric Thacker, who died in 1997, a full-time clergyman; Charles Fox (who long had a weekly radio show Jazz Today in England), who died in 1991, and Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday biographer Stuart Nicholson . He also wrote the biographies of Charlie Parker and an award-winning biography of Sergei Rachmaninoff .

Harrison also contributed to the New Grove Dictionary of Music (1980) on jazz, including the main article.


  • A Jazz Retrospect , London, Quartet Books 1976, 1991
  • with Albert McCarthy , Paul Oliver , Alun Morgan : "Jazz on record: a critical guide to the first 50 years 1917-1967", London, Hanover Books, 1968 and New York 1968, Oak Publications.
  • with Alun Morgan, Ronald Atkins, Michael James, Jack Cooke Modern Jazz- The Essential Records 1945-1970 , London Hanover Books, Aquarius Books 1975 (200 records are discussed)
  • with Charles Fox, Eric Thacker: The Essential Jazz Records- Ragtime to Swing , London, Mansell, 1984, Continuum 2000, ISBN 0720117089 (around 250 recordings on around 600 pages are discussed)
  • with Eric Thacker, Stuart Nicholson: The Essential Jazz Records: Modernism to Postmodernism , London, New York, Mansell 2000, ISBN 0720118220 (also around 250 recordings on 900 pages)
  • with Paul Oliver, William Bolcom The New Grove Gospel, Blues and Jazz: with Spirituals and Ragtime , Norton 1986, 1997, ISBN 0393303578
  • Rachmaninoff - Life, Works and Recordings , Continuum 2006, ISBN 0393303578
  • Charlie Parker , 1961, Kings of Jazz series
  • Swing Era Big Bands and Jazz Composing and Arranging , in Bill Kirchner The Oxford Companion to Jazz , Oxford University Press 2000