Steve Bryant has been writing about Jazz for 25 years
Steve Bryant has been writing about Jazz and Latin Music for over 25 years. He has written for a variety of publications including the Houston Sun. Michigan Chronicle, Detroit Metro Times, Philadelphia Tribune, NY Latino and City View Paper. He covers the Detroit Jazz Scene, especially younger artists, and has a thing for Afro-Cuban music.
My Jazz Story
I love jazz because I believe it represents the highest form of African American cultural and artistic expression. It also encompasses our history in country; from African slave who landed on these shores to the White House.
I was first exposed to jazz through my Dad who was an avid bebop fan. He played everything from Bird, Diz, Miles and the MJQ. He went to high school in Philadelphia with Benny Golson and was neighbors with the Heath Brothers. He also became personal friends with Dizzy and Miles. Growing up in California I was exposed to Latin Jazz, especially Mongo Santamaria and Cal Tjader.
We moved to Teaneck (New Jersey), where I made friends with the sons of Nat Adderley, Sir Roland Hanna, and Thad Jones. I also learned about Salsa from Ray Barretto. Since my Dad had an extensive collection I didn’t have to buy any LPs but I did buy “Bitches Brew” for my Dad Christmas. In college I had the first Latin Music radio show in the Monterey Bay Area. I also did promotions for the Berkeley Jazz Fest back in the day. I used to hang out at Keystone Korner every chance I got. However, the best show I ever attended was Max Roach and The Uptown String Quartet at the Montreux Detroit Jazz Fest in 1989.
My advice to new listeners is to first pick up some artist compilations which have a good mix of jazz styles. That way you can choose what you like.