The Jazz Discography is the most up-to-date general discography of all categories of recorded jazz, from 1896 to today. It is a complete single-source catalog which updates and replaces previously published individual category and limited time-period general discographies. Significantly, it is the first general jazz discography to be published on CD-ROM, online, and the first ever compiled using a computer database.

The Scope of The Jazz Discography

The Jazz Discography covers all categories of jazz and other creative improvised music, including Traditional, Swing, Bop, Modern, Avant-Garde, Fusion, Third Stream, etc. It covers leaders from A to Z and as of October 2018 contains: 48,619 leaders; 238,328 recording sessions; 1,370,685 musician entries and 1,542,765 tune entries.

The period covered by TJD Online is from 1896 to 2018 inclusive.

A Brief Overview of the Discography

The Jazz Discography provides a detailed listing of recording sessions, each with specific information:

Leader name (or Group name)
Published album title
Group name
Musicians, with instrument(s) played
Location and date of recording session
Tune names, including "matrix" and release numbers for 78 & 45 rpm, LPs, CDs & DLs (Internet downloads)

As this is a general discography, all leader names are listed alphabetically, with session information shown chronologically below each leader. The basic layout of The Jazz Discography conforms to a standard long favored by discographers. However, as this work is computer-generated, several refinements have been incorporated to make it quicker and easier to use.

Unlike previously published works, The Jazz Discography is compiled using a sophisticated, custom programmed database, allowing continual revision and updating as new information is received. The database facilitates immediate addition of new leaders, recording sessions, musicians and tunes, as new releases are issued. Importantly, it permits the generation of musician and tunes indexes and a variety of searches and sorts.

To ensure that an accurate musician index could be generated while respecting the standard discographical format, The Jazz Discography data base includes an elaborate internal system to permit the computer to cross-index recording sessions with individual musician names.

As all previous general jazz discographies were published in book form, recording sessions were traditionally cross-referenced by page number. However, a computer-based discography is unable to reference a page number when it does not yet exist. A "Session Number" system was developed. Each session in The Jazz Discography is assigned an individual alpha-numeric code for efficient cross-referencing. The session numbers in TJD Online are identical to the CD-ROM versions. New added sessions and completely revised leader sections carry a new sequence of session numbers that are sequential with the original session numbers.

The musician and tune indexes have been "standardized" in TJD Online. Previous versions of the CD-ROM and the printed books listed Harry Edison, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Sweets Edison, etc. - his name has now been "standardized" to Harry "Sweets" Edison. Some tune names also had several listings: e.g. 'Round midnight, Round midnight, Round about midnight, etc., which have now been standardized.

Discographical Data Sources

Numerous data sources have been accessed in the compilation of The Jazz Discography. These include existing general and individual jazz discographies and international jazz periodicals. Additional input has been received from recording companies and their catalogs and the archives of Cadence Magazine, many of whose recordings have never appeared in previous discographies. A major source of data is the many individual record collectors around the world who generously contribute their time and knowledge to this on-going project.

Search Information

Where The, Le, La, Les, Die, Das, etc., precede band or group names, the listing is determined by the principal name (e.g. The Modern Jazz Quartet is listed under "M").

Flemish names with Van, Von, etc. are listed under "V". However, Dutch names are listed under the name following the prefix (e.g. van Leeuwen is listed under "L").

Leaders with "Jr." in the surname (e.g. Kenny Drew Jr.) are listed alphabetically after all other occurrences of the surname (e.g."Drew"). Leaders followed by an orchestra name (e.g. Jasper Davis and his Orchestra) are listed alphabetically after all other occurrences of "Davis". However, musician names in the indexes have been sorted so that Kenny Drew and Kenny Drew, Jr. are listed sequentially.

Cassette Releases

Some commercially available cassette releases have been included in The Jazz Discography but we make no claim to the completeness of their inclusion.

Errors and Omissions

A reference work of this magnitude and scope will inevitably suffer from errors and omissions. Users are invited to submit corrections and additions to the compiler, at the address shown below. This will ensure The Jazz Discography remains the most complete, accurate and useful discography available. All contributors will be credited in TJD Online in the Contributors section as well as subsequent versions of the CD-ROM.

Tom Lord
Lord Music Reference Inc.
5975 Matsqui Street
Chilliwack, BC
Canada, V2R 0G6
Fax: (604) 846-6608
Web Site: