Genius Guide to Jazz

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


Pianist Enlargement

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We're celebrating Keith Jarrett's 70th Birthday with the republication of this October 2003 Genius Guide to Jazz article. A recent AAJ poll reveals that if you were to ask the average American to name the most influential living jazz pianist, 89.4% of them would giggle like a schoolgirl because the word “pianist" sounds naughty when you say it out loud. So then. Keith Jarrett, considered by virtually the entire cast of The ...


Brew Note

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In the fourteen years I've been with All About Jazz, a lot has changed in the world. One can no longer get on an airplane without undergoing an MRI and a colonoscopy; the Internet now lives mostly on smartphones and tablets (and phablets, whatever the hell those are) instead of desktops and laptops; Madonna is no longer a completely soulless media whore, she's now more like one of those 'active grandma' types you see in ads for bladder control products. ...


Jingle All the Damned Way

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I'm not an unreformed Scrooge, I assure you. I do not lack for holiday spirit, even if I don't decorate the Geniusdome until it looks like a busload of drag queens crashed into a 30-foot Balsam fir. Christmas, to me, is attending Mass on Christmas Eve and then spending Christmas Day cooking a feast for my family. Christmas, to me, looks like the last 5 minutes of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the really good animated one, not the Jim ...


All About All About Jazz

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The history of jazz on the Internet goes back almost to the beginnings of jazz itself, one crisp autumn day in 1924 when Louis Armstrong first conceived of breaking the music down into tiny packets that could then be distributed across a network where they could be reassembled at some other distant point back into their original form. The computer had not yet been invented, and Armstrong's plan was to distribute the packets via America's extensive network of hobos. The ...


Who Listens to Jazz

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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 ...


How to Win Friends and Influence People to Jazz

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Suppose for a moment that you (or someone a lot like you, except taller) knew someone who had never heard jazz. Or, more likely, had never really listened to jazz. Everyone has heard jazz, in some form or another, even if it was just background music in a TV commercial and/or porno flick (it's hard to tell one from the other nowadays). And suppose that you, a known jazz aficionado, were to introduce them to this music that we love. ...


A Brief, Yet Largely Incomprehensible, History of Blue Note

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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 ...


2013 Holiday Gift Guide

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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 ...


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