There is a poem by a Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov titled "When Horses Die" that I came across to by accident. It goes like "When horses die they breathe when grasses die, they wither, when suns die they go out, and when people die they sing songs." For many musicians, the year 2016 was final and their swan songs reflected their thoughts and emotions about the inevitable final curtain-call. The best records of the year 2016 reflected that issue on mortality or tragedy starting from singers David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen to Nick Cave to name but a few. A plethora of writers, directors and actors have left us this year reminding how fleeting life actually is. To me it was Bowie's Blackstar was the record that marked the year 2016. It was a hard year on every front and it yielded excellent new recordings, reissues, books, and videos. It also marked the dominance of vinyl record over digital releases. The Top 10 of everything is always a process of sifting through an avalanche of records and panning for gold. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Here is hoping that 2017 will be better.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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