Michael S. Clark
Freelance writer, web journalist, promotional copywriter and author
Michael Stephen Clark is a freelance web journalist and author. He also researches, writes and edits press releases and concert programmes for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and other private clients.
Michael S. Clark wrote, edited and published INSTRUMENTAL (www.instrumentali.wordpress.com), an internationally orientated, eclectic, web-based music magazine. Support for INSTRUMENTAL grew considerably in the five years of its existence and the published reviews invited much praise for their insightful evaluation. This was particularly true of the jazz coverage on the site. The best of these reviews and essays were collated into 'A Creative Surge, an ebook which is now available free from the 1320Elements website.
Michael lives and works in Dundee on the east coast of Scotland where he also writes fiction, non-fiction, biography and media communications. He has written, designed and produced several ebooks and recently wrote, typeset, designed and published two books in print-only format. He is presently involved in discussions about further publishing projects with prospective collaborators in the fields of particularly poetry and music/artist biography.
My Jazz Story
Published on: 2016-12-13
Long ago, in the twentieth century, jazz provided the soundtrack to our lives - whether people care to admit it or not. Of course other things happened. There was Elvis,
The Beatles, Woodstock and Live Aid. We even smiled politely at the myriad rock n roll comebacks that peppered the late 1990's.
There are lots of other musical forms that I love but jazz in all its amazing diversity has been something of an anchor. It began, as it often does, with the singers like
Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett. Of course, we're talking about the parents' record collection here, but hang on what's this? Django Reinhardt?
Now, that looked interesting but where was I going to find out more? There was, and still is, only one place fit for that purpose. The radio.
So, from about the age of twelve or thirteen, I pretty much listened to jazz every week, usually on a Sunday. I even got to know some of the names and the faces and the
sounds pretty well, but mostly I just listened.
However, my jazz education really began quite recently when I started writing about it. I'm no jazz historian and I'm certainly not a musician. I prefer to describe what jazz
delivers rather than the date and time it was made and what the catalogue numbers are. So, i'm a bit flowery in my descriptions of what I hear.
I think that a new generation of listeners would really love jazz but they need better access to it. I think my function is to tell them how I feel about John Coltrane, Eric
Dolphy, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass rather than relate where they went, who they were with, and what they did when they got there.
I also want younger people to understand that contemporary players are taking jazz into great new places while preserving every drop of spirit and spirituality in the
The good news is that a lot of young people are listening and connecting with jazz. And why wouldn't they? It's the sound of humanity after all.