Cook, Richard 1957–2007

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Cook, Richard 1957–2007

(R.D. Cook)


See index for CA sketch: Born in 1957, in Kew, England; died of cancer, August 25, 2007, in London, England. Critic, journalist, broadcaster, and author. Cook spent his career listening to music and writing about it. His specialty was jazz, although as a staff writer for the New Musical Express in the 1980s and later as editor of the Wire, he covered a wide range of genres in his music reviews. His broad expertise extended from traditional recording artists like Frank Sinatra to the opposite extreme of experimental and avant-garde music. However, jazz was always at the core of his criticism and he promoted the work of under-appreciated musicians as much as he reported on the renderings of the masters. In the late 1980s the critic, who sometimes used the byline R.D. Cook, added to his responsibilities by critiquing jazz for the Sunday Times and hosting a radio broadcast devoted to jazz. From 1993 to 1997 he worked for the Polygram record label where he was in charge of the jazz catalog, then he returned to magazine work as the editor of the Jazz Review. During his very active career, Cook managed to produce The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP, and Cassette (1992), which he and coauthor Brian Morton updated regularly through eight editions, lastly as The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (2002). Cook's other books include a well-received history, Blue Note Records: The Biography (2001), and It's about That Time: Miles Davis on and off Record (2007).



New York Times, September 13, 2007, p. C12.

Times (London, England), September 12, 2007, p. 70.