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Review: A fascinating education in 'The Jazz Standards'

Review: A fascinating education in 'The Jazz Standards'

The Jazz Standards
A Guide to the Repertoire

Ted Gioia
Oxford University Press: 528 pp., $39.95

I like jazz but I don't know much about it. Or perhaps I should say that I know what I like. Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith and Benny Goodman, yes, but my appreciation really kicks in with the beboppers, Monk and Bird and Dizzy, and their spiritual brethren (or descendants): Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Throw in a little Billie Holiday, some Dave Brubeck and Stan Getz, and there you have it: my autodidact's pantheon.

And yet, as Ted Gioia points out in his monumental "The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire," this is...