This is a book both broad and deep, drawing from the diverse worlds of classical, jazz, rock, pop, blues, country, folk, musicals, hip-hop, world, opera, soundtracks, and more.
It’s arranged alphabetically by artist to create the kind of unexpected juxtapositions that break down genre bias and broaden listeners’ horizons – it makes every listener a seeker, actively pursuing new artists and new sounds, and reconfirming the greatness of the classics.
Flanking J. S. Bach and his six entries, for example, are the little-known R&B singer Baby Huey and the ’80s Rastafarian hard-core punk band Bad Brains. Farther down the list: The Band, Samuel Barber, Cecelia Bartoli, Count Basie, and Afropop star Waldemer Bastos.
Each entry is passionately written, with expert listening notes, fascinating anecdotes, and the occasional perfect quote – “Your collection could be filled with nothing but music from Ray Charles,” said Tom Waits, “and you’d have a completely balanced diet.”
Every entry identifies key tracks, additional works by the artist, and where to go next.
And in the back, indexes and playlists for different moods and occasions.