BOOK REVIEW by Willard Manus

Check out THIRD EAR--THE ESSENTIAL LISTENING COMPANION, a new series of jazz-oriented music guides from San Francisco-based Backbeat Books, 600 Harrison St, S.F., CA 94107. The guides offer fresh perspectives on the musicians who made jazz the world-famous music it is, and also highlight new discoveries of outstanding recordings.

Scott Yanow, who has written for L.A. Jazz Scene as well as many other jazz periodicals, has compiled the first two volumes, SWING and BEBOP. Each book opens with an intro, with Yanow exploring the roots of the music and giving a thumbnail sketch of the times and the artists involved. Then the enyclopedia part takes over in which Yanow lists individual artists, describes their style of play and various musical accomplishments, and also offers a detailed discography, photographs, suggested reading lists and an index.

Pianist Billy Taylor had this to say about SWING: "I am delighted that Scott Yanow has chosen to write this book. I really like Scott's writing. He does excellent research, and his sensitivity and understanding of a wide range of musical styles helps him convey the essence of jazz to today's audiences."

BEBOP is particularly distinguished for its profiles of the giants of the genre: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach and Thelonius Monk. Yanow describes their work with ease and clarity and brings them to life with quick, deft character strokes. Yanow also pays tribute to such now-forgotten hard-bop pioneers as Cecil Payne, Jimmy Cleveland, Dolo Coker and Nelson Boyd, among others.