What do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies? Writing CD reviews IS one of my hobbies, as is drumming, composing, playing in local bands, etc. I also run 20-25 miles/week, but that's not really a hobby. It's more for my own sanity than anything else. I don't compete in races or anything. I just run. Without shoes whenever possible.
I have a pretty sweet day job. I am a scientist at a government lab. I have a PhD. in geology, but right now I am doing thermal analysis of various ceramic materials. So, my career's slowly gravitated towards the worlds of materials science and analytical chemistry and away from geology. I still enjoy geology, though. But mostly as a hobby. I'm always down to stop the car at a roadcut and see what's going on in the rocks.
What role does jazz music play in your life? I play it, I listen to it, I think about it, I read about it, I try to write about it, my friends and family are into it, I'll stay up to 4 AM talking about it. So, I am literally steeped in it 24/7.
Oddly, the music I've written so far has little resemblance to jazz.
My teenage daughter claims to "totally hate" jazz, though. Go figure. I think it's a temporary condition, but don't tell her I said that!
How does writing about jazz contribute to the music itself? I feel that a useful record review should place the work in question in some sort of stylistic continuum with specific points of reference. Making references to similar recordings and artists, and connecting those dots for the readers (granted some will know much more about the music than I do!), is a necessary part of a good review. I generally only review CDs that I really enjoy and can get behind.
In general, the writinganyone's writingabout jazz contributes something to the grand conversation that's continually happening all around us. Right now, Facebook is probably the best venue to fly one's jazz freak flag. If just regular people, especially young people, see how much is out there, the audience for this music will continue to live and grow.
What do you like most about All About Jazz? I read the reviews. I am pretty competitive, so I am continually taking mental notes about how I can improve my own writing. I enjoy the interviews, also. AAJ's been my favorite jazz website for years. I like the way the site's evolved, looking now at other aspects of the jazz life.
What positives have come from your association with All About Jazz? Exposure to new and different music for sure. I like seeing that people are reading my reviews. That's the bottom line. I am not a professional writer, nor am I a very accomplished writer. But what I'm saying in my reviews comes from a desire to communicate what thrills me about this musicbe it jazz or whatever. I hope that comes across to the readers!