Richard Cook

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Richard Cook (born February 7, 1957 in Kew , London ; † August 25, 2007 there ) was a British jazz journalist and author.


Cook was born the son of a teacher whose 78 record collection pointed the way for his later career. Despite good grades, he decided not to study and began in the 1970s (initially part-time) as a music journalist for the magazine "NME", where he was permanently employed in the early 1980s. By no means did he just write about jazz, but about the whole range of popular music.

1985 to 1992 he was editor of the experimental magazine " The Wire " and editor for the associated publisher "Quartet Books". He also wrote about jazz z. B. in "The Sunday Times" (later in "New Statesman") and moderated a weekly jazz program on the radio station GLR (later also for "Jazz FM"). Between 1992 and 1997 he was responsible for the jazz program of "Polygram UK Records", where he a. a. Re-released British modern jazz albums ("Redial" series) and produced trumpeter Guy Barker .

He was also the editor of the " Jazz Review " and author of several standard works on jazz (including 2001 a story by Blue Note Records ) and the Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (with Brian Morton). Cook also co-wrote a play ("A sparkling evening with Caroline Jackson").

He died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 50.


  • with Brian Morton “Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings” , Penguin, first in 1992 as “The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD” , several new editions, 8th edition 2006 (1560 pages), ISBN 0-14-102327-9
  • "Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia" , Penguin 2005 (832 pages), ISBN 0-14-100646-3
  • "Blue Note: The Biography" , Scherz Verlag 2004, ISBN 3-87024-599-9
  • "It's about the time: Miles Davis on and off the Record," Oxford University Press 2006, ISBN 0-19-532266-5

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