It is hard to believe I have been writing about jazz for All About Jazz for almost 18 years now. During that time period, vinyl was scarce as can be, only to come back recently with a vengeance. With many classic jazz recordings working their way into the area of public domain, ubiquitous CD reissues have offered up even some of the rarest jazz classics to the masses. It has been an exciting ride to say the least. Nonetheless, I find that in picking through new music it has become harder and harder to find quality works worthy of lasting significance. And for some inexplicable reason, swing has seemed to become a bad word. In the final analysis however, the tradition will always be at the heart of what makes jazz music vital to this reviewer. Artists who are trying to be different just for the sake of being different will not find a place in my year end lists.
So looking through my offerings this year, the word traditional might come to mind and that is just fine by me. These gentlemen and lady are true artists practicing their craft at the highest levels within the tradition of the music. The same could be said for the embarrassment of riches we found in the reissue market this year, particularly when it came to vinyl. Furthermore, hats off to Resonance Records for unearthing two stellar sets that had been previously unheard.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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