A passionate listener and reviewer of all things jazz-related, with particular emphasis on anything that challenges expectations and boundaries.
Born and raised in southern California, I now feel completely at home in the upper
Midwest, where I teach high school history in the suburbs of Detroit. Earlier
ventures, some successful and some not-so-much, include: dodging angry skunks
while delivering early-morning newspapers for the San Diego Union-Tribune,
working as an undercover agent inspecting “smog check” facilities for the California
EPA, playing indie rock as a DJ at Duke University’s WXDU, and teaching political
philosophy to college freshmen. I first tried my hand at writing jazz reviews several
years ago for the Free Jazz Collective, a blog to which I continue to contribute.
My Jazz Story
After years of studying classical piano, I first attempted to play jazz in my high school jazz ensemble. I soon realized this task
would be far more challenging than anything I had previously tried. Thus began my quest to wrap my head around this
amazing music, a journey which still continues many years later. The first recording that really “clicked” for me was Bill Evans’s
Portrait in Jazz; but it didn’t take long before I started listening to Eric Dolphy, David Murray, Cecil Taylor, Charles
much else that was simply mind-blowing and thrilling. I find it incredible and inspiring that, with all the economic challenges
accompanying the playing of this music in the 21st century, so many supremely talented and dedicated artists continue the
search for new forms and expressions of what jazz means today.