What made you decide to contribute to All About Jazz?
Enthusiasm for the the music.
How do you contribute to All About Jazz?
As a Senior Editor, I edit. I also write for the site.
What is your musical background?
Briefly a professional saxophonist, I later edited the monthly magazine Black Music & Jazz Review, before joining Bill Laswell's Celluloid label. I've since contributed to most of the UK's music mags, and written several books on music.
What was the first record you bought that you would still listen to today?
But Not For Me: Live At The Pershing Lounge (Chess) Ahmad Jamal.
What type of jazz do you enjoy listening to the most?
Most styles except fusion and free.
Aside from jazz, what styles of music do you enjoy?
West African (particularly Nigerian).
What are you listening to right now?
A doo-wop compilation.
Which five recent releases would you recommend to readers who share your musical taste?
Moon River (Jazz Village) Ahmad Jamal; The Complete Works Of Fela Anikulapo Kuti (Knitting Factory) Fela Kuti; Electric Morocco Land (Face Pelt) Club d'Elf; Tiger Face (Royal Potato Family) Marco Benevento; Atunde Adjuah (Concord) Christian Scott.
What inspired you to write about jazz?
It beat working.
What do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies?
Music, music, music.
What role does jazz music play in your life?
A big one.
How does writing about jazz contribute to the music itself?
What do you like most about All About Jazz?
It's comprehensive and inclusive.
What positives have come from your association with All About Jazz?
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.