ABOUT THE JAZZ DISCOGRAPHY
The Jazz Discography is the world's largest and most complete source of information about jazz records and jazz recording sessions. Recording sessions are listed by bandleader name and presented in chronological order. Session details include the titles of each tune recorded plus the names of all supporting musicians and the instrument(s) they played. The date and location of each recording plus matrix and record company release numbers are also shown.
The Jazz Discography encompasses all genres of jazz so as to include sessions by musicians who recorded across the various jazz disciplines, from traditional to avant-garde, from bebop to fusion. A true "general" jazz discography, it is the most complete catalog of recorded jazz ever published, presently covering over 400,000 jazz recordings released between 1896 and today.
The Jazz Discography is the only general jazz discography ever compiled in an electronic database. This has allowed data originally intended for publication in print to be adapted to CD-ROM format and for Internet access. Custom designed for the specific requirements of jazz discography, the database permits ongoing updating with new and revised information.
Tom Lord, the compiler and publisher of The Jazz Discography, has been a committed jazz fan for most of his life. As his record collection grew he became aware of the need for a more comprehensive source of discographical data. This, combined with an interest in personal computers, persuaded him to embark upon the compilation of a new general jazz discography, in an electronic database.
Discovering that no suitable “off-the-shelf” database software existed, he set about designing his own. The final product emerged three years later following an enormous amount of programming. He then began the daunting task of researching, checking, compiling, editing and entering data from a wide range of sources, including earlier "general" and “name” (bandleader-specific) discographies. Following precedent, he compiled the data alphabetically by bandleader name, with individual recording sessions listed chronologically.
The Jazz Discography was first published in printed form, between 1992 and 2001, as 26 sequential volumes covering bandleaders from A to Z. Each volume was published as sufficient data was accumulated to fill 600 pages.
Access to the printed version was limited by quantity and cost. At an average price of US $60 per volume, The Jazz Discography was neither widely available nor readily affordable. However, Tom Lord’s foresight in compiling data on an electronic database subsequently showed its true merit... he was able to have the database reprogrammed to meet the exacting requirements for CD-ROM output. High printing and shipping costs were eliminated and the data was made available at a fraction of the total cost of the complete book series.
CD-ROM technology has effectively transformed jazz discography from a formal reference work into a fun to use and practical resource. When a discography is presented in printed form it is of little consequence whether it is compiled on a computer database, a word processor or a typewriter... the benefits of an electronic database simply aren’t visible or accessible. But when the same information is presented electronically, with multiple search and other features, the work is transformed. It becomes a dynamic tool and an invaluable resource for all jazz fans and record buyers.
New versions of The Jazz Discography CD-ROM are published each year, updated with new releases, re-releases and data that has come to light subsequent to earlier compilations.
The most recent new product offered by The Jazz Discography is TJD Online (The Jazz Discography Online). This is an online subscription service that allows subscribers to access the most up-to-date version of the Jazz Discography database. Updates to this database are done on a very regular basis. It includes many new features that are not available in the CD-ROM versions. There is a New/Updated listing of all changes to the database. This can be accessed for specific periods of time so if a subscriber is away he can find out about new releases when he returns. The most important feature of this product is a revolutionary cataloging system. It allows users to easily and quickly catalog their record collections. Full search and sort features are then available specifically on their own collections.
Tom Lord is the first to admit that jazz discography remains a work in progress. Ensuring accuracy and completeness is an ongoing and endless task. To aid him in this endeavor he has attracted a long list of contributors around the globe. Their invaluable contribution helps ensure the database is kept accurate and up to date. The Jazz Discography is now widely acclaimed as the world’s most complete source of jazz discographical information.