Michael S. Clark
Freelance writer, web journalist, website designer, promotional copywriter and internet radio broadcaster
Michael Stephen Clark is a freelance web journalist, website publisher and internet radio broadcaster. He also researches, writes and edits press releases and concert programmes for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and other private clients.
He founded the internet broadcast platform 1320Radio (1320radio.com) with a vision to present the quality and diversity of music from Scotland through eclectic programming, cultural inclusion and outreach to other countries. The station recently launched FRESH JAM, a monthly show that prominently features new jazz from emergent artists. It's presented by Scott Murphy who is co-leader of crossover ensemble Fat-Suit and a prolific contributor to a number of jazz projects, including promoting new jazz at Club Rio in Glasgow.
Michael S. Clark also writes, edits and publishes INSTRUMENTAL (instrumentali.com), an internationally orientated, eclectic, web-based music magazine. Support for INSTRUMENTAL has grown considerably in the two years of its existence and the published reviews invite much praise for their insightful evaluation. This is particularly true of the jazz coverage on the site.
The success of INSTRUMENTAL is also measurable by the page hits and shares on social media that individual pieces achieve, and they have frequently outstripped concomitant reviews in the established mainstream media.
Michael lives and works in Dundee on the east coast of Scotland and works on behalf of a number of private clients as an associate of The Music Flag (www.themusicflag.com) - a new way of engaging with musicians to create great PR media.
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 music.
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.