Simon Adams was born in Bristol and brought up in the home counties. He studied history and politics at London and Bristol universities before starting work in publishing, first as an advertising copywriter and designer and then as an editor. After some years hating middle management, he went freelance, writing more than 80 non-fiction books for children on subjects as varied as the Titanic, World War I, and Afghanistan. His first jazz review was published in Jazz Journal in November 1982 and he continued to contribute to the magazine regularly, as well as writing for Richard’s Cook’s Jazz Review. A consultant and contributor to both editions of The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, he also wrote a best-selling guide to jazz.