I am a music journalist, guitar and mandolin player, and jazz obsessor.
In the beginning there was darkness.
Then came 5 years of literally nothing but Beatles.
In middle school the levee broke, and in rushed Zeppelin (as well Jefferson
Airplane, the Stones, Hendrix, Neil Young, etc...).
Finally, in early high school, I shoved open the rusty hinges of my mind and started
listening to music made after 1970, reluctantly entering into the cultural discourse
of my own generation. At this point music subtly yet definitively took over my life,
and my friends dwindled to those willing to listen to me blab about it constantly.
As a lifelong guitarist and proud owner of a gorgeous, warm, full-mahogany Martin
flattop (000-15M), I was always inclined toward acoustic music. Thus, from the
womb of the '60s folk revival (inseminated by contemporary Indie-Folk and a ranch-
house in the redwood forest of Sonoma) came Bluegrass, my first bona fide
Chris Thile, the greatest musician alive, broke bluegrass for me by being hopelessly
better than anyone else in the idiom. However, his virtuosity, creativity, and soloing
prowess turned me on to both mandolin and jazz. From the opposite side of the
acoustic-electric spectrum, Snarky Puppy also pique my interest.
Finally one fateful evening, after cleverly Googling "best jazz albums", I heard a
track from Blue Train and found myself bouncing and quivering in the middle of my
school library. With hardly a moment's notice, the saxophonist had obliterated all
my previous soloist idols (other than Chris Thile, the greatest musician alive), and
set a new standard for what human beings are musically capable of.
I decided to investigate further into this enigmatic "Trane" figure, and his record
with Monk set me spiraling into the depths of jazz, first toward the classics, then
headlong into contemporary stuff, which I now find much more exciting.
I've been a junkie ever since, and each day I grow even more hooked.