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Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2016.  (Order here.  Spotify playlist for nearly all music referenced in the book here.)

The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music. Times Books, New York, 2008. (Order here.)

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2007.  Finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.  (Order here.)

The New York Times Essential Library: Jazz. Times Books, New York, 2002. (Order here.)



New York Review of Books * AffidavitEsquire * Slate * Pitchfork  * Rolling Stone * 4Columns * Granta * Bookforum * Jazz Times

Ben Ratliff’s New York Times author page contains over 3200 bylines–criticism, profiles, reviews, interviews, obituaries, podcasts–including

Cecil Taylor

Black Sabbath

Circuit des Yeux/Haley Fohr/Jackie Lynn


Gal Costa

Eddie Palmieri

Jen Shyu

Ornette Coleman

Mary Ruefle

Scott Walker

Kate Bush

Neil Young

Mary J. Blige

Anne Carson

Gregg Turkington

Shirley Caesar

The Rolling Stones

Ryoji Ikeda

Paul Motian

Wayne Shorter

Cat Power

Guillermo Klein

Christian Marclay

Caetano Veloso

Henry Threadgill

Cesar Aira

ZZ Top

Stephen O’Malley

The Stooges

Manuel Agujetas

Ken Burns’ “Jazz”

Kenny G


Arthur Russell’s archives and the key to “World of Echo”

Streaming music, playlists, algorithms, and “discovery”

Black metal in academia

The Prarie View A&M University Marching Storm band

The history of the trio elétrico in Salvador da Bahia’s carnaval

Butler Library in summer

Album Cover Album