Have you heard of this? Years ago I was lamenting to my guitar player Jake that I wished there was a place I could look up who a musician was on an old track I love. The artist digitally listed for a song was often the bandleader's name, but when I heard an amazing solo I would say "Who is that?" and have to wonder. I could have looked up who played what in each big band but often times there would be multiple people on the same instrument and some of these bands rotated through a ton of personnel over many years. Jake looked at me and said "Do you know the Rust books?"
It was like he granted my wish. Brian Rust was a British jazz enthusiast who wrote for Melody Maker and Gramophone magazines. He first published "Jazz Records" in the 50's and kept refining it until he passed in 2011. It's a super clear reference for exactly who played on each studio session for every jazz 78 record made from 1897-1942. I have the 2 volume hard copies, and if you prefer physical books you can buy them used on Amazon BUT they are also in the public domain which means they're available online in PDF form for free, so I attached them here. Enjoy!
Brian Rust Jazz Records
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