Ken began collecting jazz in 1972 and has been a jazz journalist since 1988.
I started collecting jazz records while attending Tulane University
the early 1970s. Since
I was already a history buff (and majoring in it as well), research
was something I also
enjoyed. After graduating in 1976 and earning my MBA at the
of Georgia the
following year, I eventually wound up in Chattanooga, where I
15-year stint on
WUTC-FM hosting Timeless Jazz in 1987.
In early 1988, I began reviewing jazz, writing for various
Cadence, The Jazz Link, Letter From Evans, and the
Between 1998-2012, I was a regular contributor to All Music
jazz reviews for their website, along with reviews of rock,
recordings and a few biographies. In 2005, I also became a
contributor to Coda,
The New York City Jazz Record and Hot House (NY).
I began writing for All About Jazz in 2000, creating the Ask
Ken column to
answer recording related questions and trying to help folks find
of print LPs and CDs,
finally ending the column 3 years later because I couldn't keep up
with the volume of
requests. I also jointly edited the late lamented All About Jazz
Trivia Quiz with Alex
Henderson, which ended only because of AAJ's frustration with
utilized by the quiz. I also contributed annual reviews of the IAJE Conference
along with occasional CD and concert reviews, label profiles and
interviews, some of which
initially were written for the All About Jazz-New York newspaper.
A few years ago I took a hiatus from All About Jazz, but now that I'm retired from
my radio career, I'm considering a relaunch of Not For Sale and contributing a few
reviews and articles, too.
Every once in awhile, I get an opportunity to write liner notes. The
Oscar Peterson Plays Duke Ellington (Pablo)
Joe Pass: Meditation-Live at Yoshi's (Pablo)
Wes Montgomery: The Best of Wes Montgomery (Riverside)
Jaki Byard Quartet with Joe Farrell: The Last From Lennie's
Mel Torme, Gerry Mulligan & George Shearing: The Classic
BED (Becky Kilgore, Eddie Erickson & Dan Barrett) Watch Out!
Jimmy Ponder: Somebody's Child (HighNote)
Lorraine Feather: Language (Jazzed Media)
Jeff Barone: Open Up (Jazzed Media)
Leslie Pintchik: Quartets (Ambient)
Joe Lee Wilson & Jimmy Ponder: Come and See (Explore)
Joe Lee Wilson: The Shadow (Explore)
N. Glenn Davis Quintet w/Phil Woods: Come Right In (Jazzed
Arlyn Valencia: Secret Love (jbQ Media)
E. J. Decker: The Prysock Project (Candela)
I also write press bios. If you need a bio or liner notes, drop me a line,
I'm always looking for LPs or CDs and usually have some current
on hand for trading. If you're interested in learning more,
drop me a line,
I'm also interested in trading broadcast (not commercially
including the ones I've featured in my Not For Sale column.
current have over
1000 listed on line and many more not yet added to my list. Email
drop me a line
for a list
or link to my
Don't forget to watch out every April 1st for April Fool's
My Jazz Story
Published on: 2018-12-02
My interest in jazz began during my undergraduate days at Tulane University during the early 1970s. attending a Dave Brubeck concert and buying various jazz
LPs that looked interesting. I was already a fan of Frank Zappa and after hearing his composition "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue" I happened to see a Dolphy
LP and I ended up acquiring nearly his entire discography. Being in the southeast had its drawbacks, as national jazz acts weren't playing all that often where I
was living. I never had the opportunity to meet any artists until I spoke to Brubeck around the time I began broadcasting a jazz series on WUTC-FM in 1987,
though I would end up interviewing him many times over the rest of his career, along with seeing him perform on 25 or so occasions in numerous cities. My first
date with my wife was a Brubeck concert, neither of us could have predicted that she would end up being a part of a choir accompanying him in a 2000 concert of
his sacred music.
I entered jazz journalism by chance, after discovering that the local newspaper arts editor had traded in a Duke Ellington CD at a local used record store. I called
and asked about writing reviews and quickly became a regular contributor. The Brubeck connection came up again, when I proposed an article about the quartet's
appearance at the Reagan-Gorbachev Moscow Summit in 1988, since I had just completed a phone interview. That became my first published free lance article,
though I would later contribute to Cadence, AllMusic.com (where I wrote thousands of reviews over a 14 year period), the short-lived Jazz Review and briefly
revived Coda and many other publications. Now retired from my day job as a public radio development officer, I have more time to write and returned to the
AllAboutJazz family with my Phillip Johnston interview in November 2018.
Listeners today have the ability to sample music excerpts and often complete performances on line, so take advantage of previewing music if you are unsure
about buying it. I feel like buying CDs, LPs or downloads (if you prefer them--I don't), is very important to support the artists. Read enough by any reviewer to get
an idea of what kind of music appeals to him or her, then consider that when evaluating their work compared to your tastes. Also be open to explore music
outside of your normal listening habits, not everything will catch your ear, but you may be surprised at what you like. That's why I prefer to leave the packaging
and playlist out of sight when I hear a new CD for the first time, this also helps me consider the possible source of the chord changes for some tracks, along with
deciding for myself what influences are present. Occasionally, I also discover incorrect or missing information by not consulting the playlist or liner notes.
It's always nice to hear from readers. I am happy to provide additional information or address concerns if that is the case, unless you are trying to locate the CD
Yanni: A Tribute to Art Tatum.
My House Concert Story
My wife and I are in talks with several musicians about a planned solo house concert. We have a Kawai baby grand and room with a vaulted ceiling and good