From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Richard Cook (1957 – 25 August 2007) was a British jazz writer, magazine editor and former record company executive. Cook was born in Kew and continued to live in West London as an adult. He was co-author, with Brian Morton, of The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (formerly ...on CD), now in its eighth edition. Richard Cook's Jazz Companion was published in 2005.
A writer on music from the late 1970s until his death, he was a prominent contributor to the NME, the jazz critic for The Sunday Times and more recently music writer for the New Statesman. Cook was formerly editor of The Wire, when it was a jazz centred periodical (although it broadened its coverage towards the end of his editorship), and edited Jazz Review magazine from its foundation in 1998. He also presented a programme on jazz for BBC local radio GLR.
Richard Cook was formerly 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 reissue 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, 2Ts for a Lovely T, which was on the Codanza label.
Richard Cook died of cancer on 25 August 2007.