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My Guitar

Read "My Guitar" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

This Christmas marked a very important anniversary in the history of Your Own Personal Genius. Thirty years ago, I received a gift that would change the course of my life forever: a Korean-made Starforce Strat-copy guitar, along with a small Fender practice amp. I got with it a small book of basic blues scales, plus 12-bar ...

ARTICLE: GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Jazz in 1's and 0's

Read "Jazz in 1's and 0's" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

If one were to happen by the GeniusDome, providing you could navigate the gauntlet of traps and snares leading to the door and pass muster by my parakeet Al Neri, you'd be greeted warmly and welcomed into my inner sanctum. You'd notice a veritable forest of guitars, an inexplicable collection of hot sauces and Barbecue sauces, ...

ARTICLE: GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

2018 Gift Guide

Read "2018 Gift Guide" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

With the holidays just around the corner (not that corner, the next one, past the bank), you may find yourself in the midst of a panic. There's so much to be done, from decorating to cooking to shopping, when will you find time for it all? Don't panic. While we here at All About Jazz might ...

ARTICLE: GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Top 10 Moments in Jazz History

Read "Top 10 Moments in Jazz History" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

10. In 1956, while in the throes of kicking his heroin addiction and late for a gig, Miles Davis picks up a small black snake that had wandered into his Missouri home and--thinking it is just a hallucination--mistakes for a clip-on tie. He completed the gig wearing the snake, which started a trend of Jazz musicians ...

American Pie

Read "American Pie" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

Recently, Your Own Personal Genius celebrated a birthday. I'm 51 now, though I read on a 56-year-old level. I commemorated the event that way I do every year, with a pizza the size and thickness of a braided area rug and a goodly portion of Samuel Adams's Octoberfest beer. Usually, I make my own pizza at ...

ARTICLE: GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Rising Stars: Wondrous Woman

Read "Rising Stars: Wondrous Woman" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

For those of you who may not be aware, Your Own Personal Genius was once a fresh-faced music major at Mars Hill University in North Carolina. My principal instrument was euphonium (I also had a minor in trombone). Later, I left to study Jazz with Ellis Marsalis during his residency at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a ...

A Day at AAJ

Read "A Day at AAJ" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

One of the main benefits of being the Dean of American Jazz Humorists©, besides a free Orange Julius whenever I want one (at participating locations) and 2-for-1 Redbox rentals, is my unfettered access to the inner workings of the entire Jazz universe. As a member of AAJ's Inner Sanctum, I am no more than three degrees ...

Bourbon, Neat

Read "Bourbon, Neat" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

Those of you who have followed this column for a while, maintaining a safe following distance of 2 ½ car lengths, certainly know by now that I'm a Southerner, specifically, a Virginian. You may also know that I was born in Kentucky to West Virginia hillbillies, raised in the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia, and educated in ...

ARTICLE: GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Rising Stars: The Beginning of the Han Dynasty

Read "Rising Stars: The Beginning of the Han Dynasty" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

As I write this, there is a government shutdown in effect due to a budget impasse. What that means to you, kids, is that I am free to do whatever the hell I want without the constrictive Federal Jazz Commission telling me what is and isn't appropriate material for this column. If I wanted to write ...

A Hitch In Time

Read "A Hitch In Time" reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

If there is a downside to being a Genius, it would be that I am never satisfied. I am in constant search for new experiences to expand my horizons; new foods, new beers, new movies, new Google searches for pictures of my favorite actresses in various stages of undress. I cannot allow myself to settle, to ...