Among other things, Leonard Feather was a productive writer and jazz critic. He was a frequent contributor to jazz magazines in many countries but he also wrote books and particularly a long series of jazz encyclopedia.
It started in 1955 when Feather published his ambitious The Encyclopedia of Jazz. It was followed by The Encyclopedia Yearbook Of Jazz the year after and The Encyclopedia Yearbook of Jazz in The Sixties in 1966 .
The first edition of The Encyclopedia of Jazz was published by Horizon Press
but it is not easy to find one in good shape. Fortunately, the publisher Da Capo published a reprint of it in 1984 and it is more widely available.
The book starts with “appreciations” by Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and John Hammond. Ellington’s is the most interesting since it is more than just an appreciation.
It exists in two version, one printed in the book and one in a tape recording, which was transcribed for the book.
Steven Lasker has very kindly given the website a copy of the recording to share with the DESS members. It is the third goodie this month and is available in the Goodies Room.
Those, who don’t have the book, can follow the link below to download and read Ellington’s appreciation.