All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Genius Guide to Jazz

Join Jeff Fitzgerald, The Dean of American Jazz Humorists©®, on a hilarious romp through the history of jazz.


March 24, 2014

A Brief, Yet Largely Incomprehensible, History of Blue Note

Read "A Brief, Yet Largely Incomprehensible, History of Blue Note"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

In future generations, when the story of Our Music is told, there will certainly be a short list of absolutely necessary items which must be mentioned for any complete understanding of the birth and growth of Jazz. It is almost easier to determine what does not belong on the list than what does. To narrow it down to the essentials, I pictured the Cliff's Notes of the Reader's Digest Condensed version of Jazz history. To that end, I looked back to my own college years, and called upon everything I still remembered after years of studying music. How ...

Read More
December 3, 2013

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Read "2013 Holiday Gift Guide"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

One of the longstanding traditions around the 'Dome, along with Taco Tuesdays and the monthly Google Nude® check to see if any of my favorite actresses have “accidentally" Tweeted “private" pictures of themselves recently, is the annual viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Few things bring back the warm memories of childhood and invoke the true spirit of the holiday more than the beloved 1965 animated special, which is a jewel even among the many treasures of the golden era of network television holiday specials. I am of a generation that cherishes Charlie Brown and How the Grinch ...

Read More
August 12, 2013

Down Pat

Read "Down Pat"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

It has been said of Pat Metheny that if Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, and Charlie Christian had somehow all been involved in fathering a single child, that child would grow up to be pursuing her master's in developmental psychology at Stanford while working as an assistant manager at Border's. Where they sell Pat Metheny CD's. How ironic is that? Not ironic enough, according to Microsoft Word's irony check, which rated this paragraph as only 34.7% as ironic as it could have been and suggested that the child grow up to be Pat Metheny. I reminded Word that the definition of ...

Read More
August 12, 2013

What Is Jazz

Read "What Is Jazz"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

Being the Dean of American Jazz Humorists®, I am often called upon to weigh in on a variety of important issues affecting the future of Jazz. For instance, I weighed in at 294 pounds on the topic of “Why Jazz Still Matters" and a relatively svelte 275 on the topic of “Where is the Next Generation of Jazz Coming From?" I won the first debate by fall in 2:35, and the second by a 8-1 majority decision. So, let's consider those matters settled.Still, there are a great many issues facing Jazz as the very fabric of society changes ...

Read More
July 17, 2013

Jazz Lovers Series: Clint Eastwood

Read "Jazz Lovers Series: Clint Eastwood"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

It goes without saying that those who appreciate Jazz are a special lot. You will rarely find lovers of Our Music who have not managed to distinguish themselves in their chosen vocations, be it in the arts, business, the humanities, or the kid at Subway who earned Employee of the Month honors while listening to The Bad Plus and making my Cold Cut Combo exactly the way I like it. Clint Eastwood is a shining example of this fact, having established himself as a top box-office draw for over fifty years, and succeeding both in front of and ...

Read More
May 2, 2013

On Facebook: April 20 - April 30, 2013

Read "On Facebook: April 20 - April 30, 2013"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

April 30Happy International Jazz Day! To celebrate, we're going to drive our vintage 1979 International Harvester Scout to the International House of Pancakes while listening to Akira Jimbo's “Jimbo Gumbo." Afterwards, we will return to AAJ Headquarters and have some Maxwell House International Coffee.How do you plan on celebrating this global event?April 29We'd like to apologize to all our friends in Nepal who came out to AAJ's first Sherpa Nite at Club Himalaya. We failed to take into account the effects of the altitude, and none of the horn players were able ...

Read More
February 19, 2013

Someone's in the Kitchen With Genius

Read "Someone's in the Kitchen With Genius"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

When I am holed up in the 'Dome living the life of a nearly complete recluse (I do occasionally venture out to earn a living, and to buy beer and groceries and then more beer), one of my favorite pastimes is cooking. I first began learning to cook at the age of five, almost forty years ago (by my watch), and have even worked in several restaurants that no longer exist through no fault of mine. I find cooking as pleasurable and relaxing pursuit as any hobby, with the added benefit of producing something legitimately useful at the end. Unlike ...

Read More
April 1, 2011

Teens Turn to Jazz As Popular Music Continues to Suck

Read "Teens Turn to Jazz As Popular Music Continues to Suck"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

If you were one of the many surprised by Esperanza Spalding's upset of teen sensation Justin Bieber for Best New Artist at the most recent Grammy Awards, then you may be missing out on one of the most promising developments in Jazz since the advent of the Flapper. Turns out that modern teenagers, sick of cloying Auto-Tuned “singing" and repetitive “uhn-chik uhn-chik uhn-chik" dance rhythms, are increasingly turning to Jazz as a remedy to the bland, soulless pop they're being offered by traditional purveyors of Top Forty tunes. At Alleghany High School in Low Moor, Virginia, 15 year-old ...

Read More
February 21, 2011

Who Listens to Jazz

Read "Who Listens to Jazz"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

There is an old Indian legend about several blind men examining an elephant. Each examines a different part of the creature and comes to a completely dissimilar conclusion as to what it is. Then the elephant, in a state of musth, stomps the helpless bastards to death to get at a '67 VW Microbus he mistakes for a particularly attractive female. The moral of the story is not to let handicapped people screw around with elephants. But like that story, where each man forms his own opinion of what he is encountering based on his limited experience ...

Read More
December 13, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide 2010

Read "Holiday Gift Guide 2010"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

Does it seem like a year has passed since last we gathered to celebrate the holidays, kids? It seems like only yesterday we finished the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, finally put away the extra tray tables, and threw away the untouched remains of that horrid green bean casserole that someone always feels compelled to bring to these otherwise festive gatherings.Wait, that was yesterday. That's what happens when you play drinking games with The Wizard of Oz. See A Witch, Do A Shot. Glenda counts.Still, an entire year has gotten away from us yet again. If ...

Read More
December 2, 2010

AAJ Needs A Solid

Read "AAJ Needs A Solid"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

Hey kids, remember when the Internet was shiny and new? Back before YouTube and Wikileaks, before Google and Facebook, back when the World Wide Web was only 84% pornography and 16% dancing hamsters? Those were the days, eh, kids? The whole thing seemed filled with such promise of a world where one day, all content would be free and everyone would share intellectual property in some Utopian vision of what socialism would be like if it actually worked.But here we are. We've awakened again to the reality that stuff costs money. See that pile of stuff over there? ...

Read More
October 11, 2010

How to Listen to Jazz, Part II

Read "How to Listen to Jazz, Part II"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

Welcome back, kids. Now that we've gotten over our initial fear of jazz, and of food that can't be ordered from surly teenagers by yelling out of the window of your car, we can now seek out a more thorough overview of Our Music. Don't worry if you still think Thelonious Monk is that funny TV detective and soft bop has something to do with Hasbro's line of Nerf products; as the old saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day (I mean, of course, Rome, Georgia. I don't presume to speak for the Italians).That said.It ...

Read More
April 1, 2010

New CD Promises Jazz from Beyond

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

David Gurnitz is excited. The president of the North Jersey Paranormal Association, and an ardent jazz fan, has captured yet another of what he believes to be proof of some of the greatest names in jazz history jamming from the “other side."“Listen," he says, turning on a small digital recorder that had recently spent an entire night recording in an otherwise empty nightclub in Bayonne, “hear that? That's Benny Goodman. He played there in 1938."Somewhere, in the deep shush of white noise, may (or may not) be the sweet swinging strains of Goodman's clarinet. ...

Read More
December 17, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Read "Holiday Gift Guide 2009"

By JEFF FITZGERALD, GENIUS

For many years, Your Own Personal Genius earned his drinking money by working retail. I've sold computers, appliances, furniture, mattresses, and kitchen cabinets; and in the process, became somewhat of a Grinch when it came to the material aspects of the holidays. Spending 14 hours a day in a store dealing with surly shoppers, an endless loop of the same maddening Christmas songs, and the insincere and overdone holiday decorations is enough to beat the holiday spirit out of all the Whos in Whoville.Even Cindy Lou Who, who was no more than two. Fortunately, my experiences ...

Read More