Ben Ratliff
New York Times Jazz and Pop Critic

.Ben Ratliff is the author of The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music (2008); Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (2007, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award); and Jazz: A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings (2002). He was born in 1968 in Manhattan and grew up in London and Rockland County, N.Y. He has been a jazz and pop critic for The New York Times since 1996, and lives with his wife and two sons in Manhattan

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The Jazz Ear
Conversations over Music
St. Martin's Griffin

“The Jazz Ear will be a permanent part of learning how to listen inside the musicians playing.”—Nat Hentoff, Jazz Times Jazz is conducted almost wordlessly:...

Trade Paperback
The Story of a Sound

John Coltrane left an indelible mark on the world, but what was the essence of his achievement that makes him so prized forty years after his death? What were...

Is Jazz Sustainable?: Ratliff's talk on the past and future of the genre.
Genius and John Coltrane: Drawing from his acclaimed biography of John Coltrane, Ratliff looks at the life of one of the iconic figues of Jazz.
Learning to Listen: From the New York Times Jazz Critic, a presentation on the most important aspects of his work.

Praise for The Jazz Ear "The Jazz Ear will be a permanent part of learning how to listen inside the musicians playing."
—Nat Hentoff, Jazz Times

The Boston Globe

"Ratliff is able to weave… fascinating and surprising portraits… Reading these chapters should remind us that the artists, like the music, are ones who continue to surprise us and delight us in so many ways.  This marvelous addition to the jazz literature would make a wonderful [gift] for the jazz enthusiast, as well as a most enjoyable read for oneself as well."
Jazz & Blues

"Each chapter brings provocative insights…. Whether you’re a seasoned listener or just discovering the form, Ratliff is a wonderful guide."
Publishers Weekly

"Revelatory…. Ratliff’s own ear, sharp critical chops and scene-setting interaction with his subjects make the artists come alive."
Kirkus Reviews