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First Person Plural

AAJ Staff By

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At first glance, the internet can seem to be an impersonal place. It's a collection of solitary computers connected by wires (and wireless) to each other around the globe. But the important part of that description is the word "connected." We firmly believe that the internet brings people together more than it drives them apart. All you need to do is visit any one of a number of chat rooms and bulletin boards (including our own ) to witness the kind of dynamic interchange that happens among jazz fans, for example.

And so too it is for us when it comes to putting together content for All About Jazz. We have a staff of hundreds of contributors (more than 50 regularly active), but we make it a point to come together around the music as a team, rather than a collection of lonesome individuals. The common bond is a love for the music.

Last year we created a new category of article where writers can stretch out at some length when reviewing music. ( CD Reviews are kept taut at 500 words or less.) The Extended Analysis format has become popular in the meantime, and among the nine examples this June are three reviews of a box set called The Contemporary Records Story.

It may seem odd that we'd offer four opinions (including a regular CD review covering the same thing), but that's where we discover that individual perspective matters. And we've done it before. Jack Bowers , David Rickert , C. Michael Bailey , and Charlie B. Dahan all weigh in on a very important Story. Learn about the goings on at this West Coast label under 25 years of leadership by founder Lester Koenig.

Every year the Jazz Journalists Association puts together an awards show honoring luminaries on instruments from piano keyboards to computer keyboards. Carla and Jason Rupp covered this year's New York event for us, revealing a guest list a mile long. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter was Musician of the Year and his Alegria was Album of the Year; Dave Brubeck won for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz; and pianist Vijay Iyer got the nod as Up & Coming Artist of the year.

All About Jazzers were represented in force with 15 contributors present. Founder and Publisher Michael Ricci was also on hand to accept the honors when AAJ won Best Website Concentrating on Jazz for the third consecutive year. This sort of recognition by our peers really means a lot to us.

Resident humorist Jeff Fitzgerald wrote a chapter in his Genius Guide to Jazz last month on the subject of the blues. It's by far the most popular article we've published in a while. So when Jeff came out with The Blues: Black Twice , it seemed appropriate to let you know. Jeff offers his version of events leading to the onset of modern music, gabbing about real-life blues man B.B. King and "Memphis" Madonna—yes, that Madonna—as well as the totally nonessential role of tubas and accordions.

In closing, now is as good a time as any to remind you about our new Upcoming Releases Center . In this area you'll find over 400 recent and future releases from all over the jazz world, big and small. It's the best way for you to stay on top of what's happening on record, whatever your budget. John Kelman and Charlie B. Dahan deserve credit for their instrumental role in keeping the Upcoming Releases Center together. (You too can add your own new release very easily all on your own by clicking here .)

That's it. From all of us (yes, first person plural ), welcome to June's heap of offerings from All About Jazz .


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