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
Published on: 2018-12-02
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 amany 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
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.