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MIXED MEDIA

December 19, 1993|ZAN STEWART

Compact discs are generally the gift of choice for the jazz enthusiast, but books and videos on jazz can be provocative and informative alternatives. Here are some of the year's top books and videos, as selected by members of The Times' jazz staff:

"The Jazz Exiles: American Musicians Abroad," Bill Moody, University of Nevada ($19.95). Moody, a musician who first played in Europe in 1967, delves into two oft-asked questions: Is jazz more accepted in Europe than the U.S.? Are musicians better treated abroad than at home? The answers, as one might expect, are varied, depending on the individual experience, though most artists said that the American audience was more volatile and responsive. This intriguing book informs us that pianist-singer Bob Dorough found the continent enjoyable, but preferred New York; that soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet lived in Paris for 50 years, yet never renounced his American citizenship; and that trumpeter Art Farmer finds Vienna a perfect clime from which to global hop.

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