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Troy Dostert

A passionate listener and reviewer of all things jazz-related, with particular emphasis on anything that challenges expectations and boundaries.

About Me

Born and raised in southern California, I now feel completely at home in the upper Midwest, where I teach high school history in the suburbs of Detroit. Earlier ventures, some successful and some not-so-much, include: dodging angry skunks while delivering early-morning newspapers for the San Diego Union-Tribune, working as an undercover agent inspecting “smog check” facilities for the California EPA, playing indie rock as a DJ at Duke University’s WXDU, and teaching political philosophy to college freshmen. I first tried my hand at writing jazz reviews several years ago for the Free Jazz Collective, a blog to which I continue to contribute.

My Jazz Story

After years of studying classical piano, I first attempted to play jazz in my high school jazz ensemble. I soon realized this task would be far more challenging than anything I had previously tried. Thus began my quest to wrap my head around this amazing music, a journey which still continues many years later. The first recording that really “clicked” for me was Bill Evans’s Portrait in Jazz; but it didn’t take long before I started listening to Eric Dolphy, David Murray, Cecil Taylor, Charles Gayle, and much else that was simply mind-blowing and thrilling. I find it incredible and inspiring that, with all the economic challenges accompanying the playing of this music in the 21st century, so many supremely talented and dedicated artists continue the search for new forms and expressions of what jazz means today.