Richard Cook (journalist)

Last updated

Richard David Cook (7 February 1957 25 August 2007) was a British jazz writer, magazine editor and former record company executive. Sometimes credited as R. D. Cook, Cook was born in Kew, Surrey, [1] and lived in west London as an adult. A writer on music from the late 1970s until he died, Cook was co-author, with Brian Morton, of The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (formerly ...on CD), which lasted for ten editions until 2010. Richard Cook's Jazz Companion and It's About That Time: Miles Davis On and Off the Record were published in 2005.

Cook began as a staff writer for NME in the early-1980s. [2] The editor at the time, Neil Spencer, commented that he "would take on the pieces that the fashion-oriented shunned - a Roxy Music review, an audience with a fading star, a piece on the emergent sounds of Africa". [3] He was later the jazz critic for The Sunday Times , a music writer for the New Statesman . Cook was formerly editor of The Wire , when it was a jazz-centred periodical (it broadened its coverage towards the end of his editorship), and edited Jazz Review magazine from its foundation in 1998. Jazz Review continued for a time after his death, using Cook's approach to the music as continuing inspiration; it did not name a specific successor (Morton) for six months. Cook also presented a programme on jazz for BBC local radio GLR.

Cook was the UK jazz catalogue manager for PolyGram (1992–97) and also produced albums by the trumpeter Guy Barker. During his spell at PolyGram, Cook launched the short-lived 'Redial' re-issue line of classic British jazz albums. In 2002, he was responsible for issuing a 10 CD limited-edition set by the American avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor of 1990 recordings, 2 Ts for a Lovely T , on the Codanza label.

Cook died from bowel and liver cancer on 25 August 2007, aged 50, in London, a year after diagnosis. [4]

Related Research Articles

<i>Giant Steps</i> 1960 studio album by John Coltrane

Giant Steps is the fifth studio album by jazz musician John Coltrane as leader, released in February 1960 on Atlantic Records, catalogue SD 1311. This was his first album as leader for his new label Atlantic Records. Many of its tracks have become practice templates for jazz saxophonists. In 2004, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. It attained gold record status in 2018, having sold 500,000 copies. It is considered one of the most influential jazz albums of all time.

<i>A Love Supreme</i> 1965 studio album by John Coltrane

A Love Supreme is an album by American jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. He recorded it in one session on December 9, 1964, at Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, leading a quartet featuring pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones.

<i>Ella at Dukes Place</i> 1965 album by Ella Fitzgerald

Ella at Duke's Place is a 1965 studio album by Ella Fitzgerald, accompanied by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. While it was the second studio album made by Fitzgerald and Ellington, following the 1957 Song book recording, a live double album Ella and Duke at the Cote D'Azur was recorded in 1967.

<i>Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from the Soundtrack of "Let No Man Write My Epitaph"</i> 1960 studio album by Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from the Soundtrack of "Let No Man Write My Epitaph" is a 1960 album by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, accompanied by the pianist Paul Smith. Let No Man Write My Epitaph was a 1960 Hollywood crime drama film featuring Fitzgerald.

<i>Ella in Rome: The Birthday Concert</i> 1988 live album by Ella Fitzgerald

Ella in Rome: The Birthday Concert is a live album by Ella Fitzgerald, with a jazz trio led by Lou Levy, and also featuring the Oscar Peterson trio. Recorded in 1958, it was released thirty years later.

<i>Oscar Peterson Trio + One</i> 1964 studio album by Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson Trio + One is a 1964 album by Oscar Peterson, featuring Clark Terry.

<i>Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section</i> 1957 studio album by Art Pepper

Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section is a 1957 jazz album by saxophonist Art Pepper with Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones, who at the time were the rhythm section for Miles Davis's quintet. The album is considered a milestone in Pepper's career.

Art Hodes

Arthur W. Hodes, known professionally as Art Hodes, was an American jazz pianist.

Brian Morton is a Scottish writer, journalist and former broadcaster, specialising in jazz and modern literature.

<i>Song X</i> 1986 studio album by Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman

Song X is a collaborative studio album by American jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and saxophonist Ornette Coleman. It is a free jazz record that was produced in a three-day recording session in 1985. The album was released in June 1986 by Geffen Records.

<i>The Penguin Guide to Jazz</i>

The Penguin Guide to Jazz is a reference work containing an encyclopedic directory of jazz recordings on CD which were currently available in Europe or the United States. The first nine editions were compiled by Richard Cook and Brian Morton, two chroniclers of jazz resident in the United Kingdom.

<i>Soul Time</i> 1960 studio album by Bobby Timmons

Soul Time is a 1960 album by jazz pianist Bobby Timmons featuring Blue Mitchell on trumpet, Sam Jones on bass, and Art Blakey on drums.

<i>Tears for Dolphy</i> 1964 studio album by Ted Curson

Tears for Dolphy is a 1964 album by jazz trumpeter Ted Curson. The album's title track, an elegy for Eric Dolphy, has been used in many films.

<i>Cool Struttin</i> 1958 studio album by Sonny Clark

Cool Struttin' is an album by jazz pianist Sonny Clark, released by Blue Note Records at some point between August and October 1958. Described as an "enduring hard-bop classic" by The New York Times, the album features alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Art Farmer and two members of the Miles Davis Quintet, drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Paul Chambers. According to The Stereo Times, the album enjoys "a nearly cult status among hardcore jazz followers", a reputation AllMusic asserts it deserves "for its soul appeal alone".

<i>The Jazz Messengers</i> (1956 album) 1956 studio album by The Jazz Messengers

The Jazz Messengers is a 1956 album by the Jazz Messengers, released by Columbia Records. It was the last recording by the Jazz Messengers to feature the group’s co-founder, Horace Silver, on piano.

<i>Coltrane for Lovers</i> 2001 compilation album by John Coltrane

Coltrane for Lovers is a compilation album featuring recordings by American jazz saxophonist-composer John Coltrane, released posthumously on January 23, 2001, by Impulse! Records. Its tracks were recorded during December 1961 to April 1963 at engineer Rudy Van Gelder's recording studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The first in the Verve for Lovers series by Verve Records, the album contains eleven of Coltrane's romantic ballads recorded during his early years with Impulse! Records. The songs feature Coltrane's classic quartet and collaborations with vocalist Johnny Hartman and pianist Duke Ellington.

<i>The Big Beat</i> (Art Blakey album) 1960 studio album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

The Big Beat is an album by Art Blakey and his group The Jazz Messengers recorded on March 6, 1960 and released on the Blue Note label. It features performances by Blakey with Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, and Jymie Merritt.

<i>Dinah!</i> (album) 1956 studio album by Dinah Washington

Dinah! is a 1956 album by blues, R&B and jazz singer Dinah Washington released on the EmArcy label. The album includes a mix of jazz, popular and blues standards of the period, all selected to emphasize the vocalist's style.

Mulgrew Miller was an American jazz pianist. His appearances on record date from at least 1980 to 2012, the year before his death. They include more than 15 albums under his own name.

<i>Last Years Ghost</i> 2007 studio album by Mike Reed

Last Year's Ghost is the debut album by Loose Assembly, a quintet led by American jazz drummer Mike Reed featuring alto saxophonist Greg Ward, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, cellist Tomeka Reid and bassist Josh Abrams. It was released in 2007 on 482 Music. The recording started in 2005 and completed in 2006, but the original sessions were lost and the album is a re-creation of the lost recordings.


  1. Morton, Brian (1 September 2007). "Richard Cook: Jazz writer and editor". The Independent . Archived from the original on 1 October 2007.
  2. "Richard Cook, Journalist and Author of Books on Jazz, Dies at 50". The New York Times. 13 September 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  3. Fordham, John (25 September 2007). "Richard Cook". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  4. "Richard Cook". The Times. 12 September 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2020.(subscription required)