Benny Goodman, Vanessa Rubin, Ron Carter, Joe Lovano
jazz.com is the newcomer to a growing roster of some 40 online “webzines” wholly or mainly devoted to the music. The new jazz portal boasts of “3,000 pages of unique content,” including reviews, interviews, features, discographies and photos. Those cyber pages also embrace an intriguing innovation: Lewis Porter’s Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians. Porter, a working jazz pianist, is professor of music at Rutgers University - Newark. His online sourcebook now numbers over 1,400 biographies of “currently active” jazz performers. That compares with nearly 3,000 entries (not all jazz and active artists) in Donald Clarke’s online Encyclopedia of Popular Music, and 3,300 in the progenitor Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler’s The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Porter’s work is “ongoing and aims to include all jazz musicians, past and present, in newly researched, accurate biographies,” he told me, adding that he has left the project due to the press of other activities.