Even though a couple hundred thousand people read these pages every month, we have to pinch ourselves occasionally to remember that jazz is not exactly a mainstream act. The financial types tell us that our favorite music occupies less than three percent of the market, and most of the listening public probably has only heard of Miles Davis
, John Coltrane or a handful of other artists.
But what becomes obvious upon closer inspection is that the people out there who love jazz have a very personal relationship with the music. The unbelievable diversity out there means that some like Dixieland, others crooners, hard bop, jazz/rock fusion , or free jazz . It's a wide open field for anyone who wants to play. Or listen.
Every year the International Association for Jazz Education ( IAJE ) holds an annual conference , this time in New York. You sort of have to be there to believe it, but when 8,000 jazz fans hit the same ballroom together, there are bound to be sparks. All About Jazz showed up in style, represented by at least ten contributors.
And the report is back in. Franz Matzner and Dr. Judith Schlesinger checked out a handful of singers, including Barbara Sfraga and three other talented female vocalists. Sandy Ingham took a deeper look at the 50 year-old Newport Jazz Festival and the controversial role of race in jazz journalism. C. Andrew Hovan snapped off a flurry of photos at IAJE.
Managing Editor Nils Jacobson took a personal angle on the event, which led to him being interviewed about the subject on San Diego's KSDS 88 FM . (Listen to a 13 minute mp3 excerpt and learn more about Vince Outlaw and his program The New Jazz Thing .)
Our publisher, Michael Ricci , went to the conference and spoke about the future of jazz on the internet . He also returned with a generous handful of new collaborations. We now publish fresh charts every week from JazzWeek and key interviews from Newark's WBGO Jazz 88 FM, including a recent conversation with Cassandra Wilson . BET On Jazz and TicketWeb . >
We've also greatly expanded our Musician Center —be sure to let your fellow musicians know about this opportunity for exposure. Finally, our Jazz Guides (formerly known as Directories) include 13 different resources tailored to fans , musicians , students , and industry alike. Be sure to use this opportunity to swap links with AAJ.
In the meantime our contributors have been busy reaching out as well. Charlie Dahan launched his new column, Straight From The Vault , with a virtual encyclopedia of upcoming reissues. Franz Matzner interviewed saxophonist Donny McCaslin , whose new recording saw three different reviews at AAJ. The Allman Brothers, whose improvisational approach to rock has drawn widespread attention, led Doug Collette to put together a profile and discography ; C. Michael Bailey also reviewed their Fillmore Concerts .
All this diversity means that jazz will continue to prosper, interbreed with other genres, and reach new ears. At All About Jazz we like to view ourselves as a magnet for musicians, fans, and industry alike. But that only works if you participate, so step right out and get in there . We share the same space, we share the same air, we share the same enthusiasm. That's the very definition of community. Join in!
Michael Brecker by C. Andrew Hovan
Cassandra Wilson by Michael Kurgansky Animated GIF Credit
Camilla Eriksson at MillanNet >