Doug Collette's pedigree for crafting honest and carefully-considered music analysis lies in a nearly fifty year devotion to contemporary rock and roll, jazz and the blues. During this time, his zeal for writing has grown to (almost) equal his devotion to the musical experiences he has documented from his astute observations of records, videos, books and concerts (plus a few mutually-enlightening dialogues with musicians as varied as Americana master Peter Case
, esteemed jazz guitarist John Scofield
and all three members of Medeski, Martin and Wood
As he has been since 2003, Collette is currently a senior staff writer for All About Jazz
. In addition to reviewing CD's, DVD's, books and live performances and conducting artist interviews, he composes quarterly columns on blues
new releases for this comprehensive web resource.
Doug has also been a featured contributor to Glide Magazine
since 2008. There he proffers content similar to that for AAJ, but has also honed a distinctive voice for this eclectic independent culture site by composing quarterly columns on historic concerts, notable reissues as well as retrospectives on significant milestone albums.
Having become fascinated with the process of written communication in high school, the man who considers music the greatest of all the arts contributed to the school paper there, at the same time his taste in music was broadeningand exponentially so, upon attending his very first concert, Woodstock in 1969 (he saw everyone that mattered except Jimi Hendrix
Doug subsequently began a freelance career while writing for the University of Vermont student newspaper and, over the ensuing decades, he's lent his increasingly fine-tuned skills to local, regional and national publications, including Sweet Potato
, Fusion Magazine
. In doing so, he's honed his flair for a potent mix of insight and information.
When curiosity compelled him to explore the resources of the internet, Collette quickly discovered multiple outlets for his prose, eventually carving a niche for himself, while simultaneously speaking to the two distinctly different audiences of the websites mentioned above. As long as the music never stops, the inspiration to write about it won't either!
I currently live in:
South Burlington, VT, not far from the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain.
I joined All About Jazz in:
What made you decide to contribute to All About Jazz?
I wanted to hone my writing skills and offer my insight about music to the public via the web.
How do you contribute to All About Jazz?
I review CD's, DVD's, books and concerts in addition to conducting artist interviews. I believe my eclectic taste(s) has helped broaden the appeal of the site.
What is your musical background?
I believe I've loved music since a small child as I recall loving the themes from TV series. I remember doting on AM radio and when I discovered The Beatles
, my passion for music elevated dramatically. Similarly, when I learned to love live performanceWoodstock 1969 was my first concertmy devotion to this greatest of all art forms deepened further. A rediscovery of concerts in the late 1990's coincided with greater development of my taste for improvisational music and, as I write this, I am fine-tuning my ears, a process not unlike the reorienting of a dual-antenna.
What was the first record you bought that you would still listen to today? Meet The Beatles
What type of jazz do you enjoy listening to the most?
Acoustic jazz, most probably the piano/bass/drums trio, but no-holds barred fusion with a funky undercoating, such as Medeski Martin & Wood
, run parallel to, if not sometimes ahead, of those Traditional predilections.
Aside from jazz, what styles of music do you enjoy?
I relish eclectic rock and rollsuch as that of Los Lobos
and Gov't Mule
, as well as contemporary blues like North Mississippi Allstars
and Davy Knowles
, while Allman Brothers Band
, Grateful Dead
and Jeff Beck
are permanently ensconced within my all-time 'Top Ten.'
What are you listening to right now? Robin Trower
, Sonny Rollins
, Dexter Gordon
, Rory Gallagher
, Andy Narell
and Warren Zevon
Which five recent releases would you recommend to readers who share your musical taste? Tom Petty
; Wildflowers & All The Rest
(Warner Bros.) The Allman Brothers Band
; The Final Note
(Peach Recordings) Billy Martin
(Amulet Records) Mike Dillon
(Royal Potato Family) Savoy Brown
; Ain't Done Yet
(Quarto Valley Records).
What inspired you to write about jazz?
Quite simply, for the same reason I began to listen to it seriously: I was bored by rock and roll (this was the mid-to-late Seventies!)
What do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies?
I love to read, in particular science fiction and mysteries (as well as music-related books) and I savor the immersion in a good film now and then (but not so much so as binge-watching DC superhero TV series like Arrow
!). I also spend much of my time exercising and enjoying the outdoors, that is, when I am not following current eventsbut the news definitely comes third in THAT hierarchy.
What role does jazz music play in your life?
It is a source of liberation as well as spiritual and intellectual nourishment, to the extent that improvisation is a metaphor for how I navigate myself through the world. Over the years, it has also become a means of cleansing my musical palate.
How does writing about jazz contribute to the music itself?
Writing about jazz, and music in general, is simply another means of deepening the pleasure I take in the music.
What do you like most about All About Jazz?
The willingness to expand beyond jazz and do so in a deep, exploratory manner.
What positives have come from your association with All About Jazz?
I've developed a bonafide pride in what I write about music as well as a realization of what a creative outlet it has become.
Vinyl, CD or Streaming?
Most definitely CD and I finally realized why just a few months ago: the uniformly excellent sound quality reminds me of how FM radio sounded when I discovered it
Which article from your archive is the most memorable and why?
I would have to say The Beatles: Masterful in 2009
because it was not only the first such comprehensive article I composed, but it put me firmly back in touch with my roots in a way even my pieces on The Allman Brothers Band
What surprises you most about the 'Most Popular'/Most Read' article counts?
Two things never cease to astound me: that I regularly have entries in each category and what absolute puffery is often the most popular. Visit Doug at All About Jazz