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Meet Maxim Micheliov

AAJ Staff By

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Rock music occupied me for quite a long period too. I still like some bands. Gentle Giant and selected recordings by some other prog bands—King Crimson, Yes, ELP. Hard and weird bands like most projects by Mike Patton ranging from MTV stars Faith No More to avant-garde Mr. Bungle. Another favorite of mine is Living Color.



I also enjoy selected works of classical and contemporary composers. Sergey Prokofiev, especially his string quartets, that I re-visit regularly. However, in reality, I mostly listen to jazz. So it is All About Jazz for me.



What are you listening to right now? Walt Dickerson Vibes in Motion. Earlier today it was a new trio Barry Altschul, Jon Irabagon and Joe Fonda.



Which five recent releases would you recommend to readers who share your musical taste?



I also highly recommend anything by No Business Records. Well, they have thrilling items like The Thing + Barry Guy single LP "Metal" or William Parker's 6CD box "Centering..."



What inspired you to write about jazz?

Write, or in my case stick around in any possible capacity. I write a little, work at All About Jazz, help friends at NoBusiness Records and run my own freelance project design4music.org—web design services for musicians.



Here is a small story. Howard Riley was in a boarding queue to his flight. The concert was over. It was a huge success musically but also gave a negative balance in terms of sold tickets vs. expenses. As predicted though. The magnificent performance was recorded for release at NoBusiness. I had our conversation with Howard on tape. Everything was discussed and agreed. Words of politeness and gratitude said, but something held us there. We just couldn't turn around and leave. Valerij Anosov (music store Thelonious, label, concerts) and I stood in the airport hall and watched Howard Riley slowly moving to a passport control desk. Sometimes he would look back at us, and wave his hand, and smile. We would do that too. Then again. He reached the desk in a bit, smiled to us for the last time and then disappeared behind the door. We went to Valerij's car feeling altogether happy, accomplished and yet sad.



What is it for? What is the driving force for this? Love,—my wise friend replied.—Love in its truest sense. No lust, no pride and selfishness. Just love.



What do you like to do in your free time? Any hobbies? I have a wide range of tastes and interests, but in the last few years my personal space has shrunk. I spend long hours at the computer trying to concentrate on work as I am one of a very few people in my country, non musicians who are involved with jazz music full time.



Although there's one important hobby left—cycling. I like going on 4-5 hour rides to the Vilnius countryside. There's nothing better for me than such solitary trips.



What role does jazz music play in your life?
This is a very difficult question for me. I really don't know. Jazz is the central axis of everything I do during the last few years. My hopes and aspirations, my personal development and work—it is all about jazz. :-)



How does writing about jazz contribute to the music itself? A lot of people including myself have a strong interest in context. In other words, although music speaks for itself, our perception and understanding of its abstract language might greatly depend on familiarity with the background. Also a written word is still the most common media. Acquaintance with music usually starts from reading words about it.



What do you like most about All About Jazz?

As a reader I enjoy the quality, diversity and immense size of the website. It contains enormous amounts of high quality and well-sorted content. I particularly like the interviews.



As a contributor I value the exposure that my work receives at All About Jazz. Having my name firmly associated with names of my idols in Google—thank you All About Jazz!



As a developer acquainted with the website from the "inside" I really respect our architecture. Well you can experience that too. From the calendar to a single event, to a venue, then off to a musician, an article, an image, then back to the calendar—the system provides ultimately wide and deep access to jazz information. In the ocean of information chaos this is an absolutely unique resource.



What positives have come from your association with All About Jazz?

Working in web development, design and marketing for All About Jazz allows me to combine my passion for jazz with my professional occupation. Perhaps it sounds a bit naive, but I sincerely believe that each work day of my life serves the community and does some good in the (jazz) world. Not everyone can feel that way!



Another and more specific thing, this association gives me great confidence. With All About Jazz to back me up, I feel comfortable and confident to approach literally anybody in jazz.



Maxim Micheliov at All About Jazz.


Photo Credit Page 1 (with Howard Riley): courtesy of Valerij Anosov Page 2 (with Ran Blake): courtesy of Valerij Anosov

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