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ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

A Professional Jazz Musician? Really? What's That?

Read "A Professional Jazz Musician? Really? What's That?" reviewed by Peter Rubie

I've been around as a musician long enough to understand when a promoter or booker ghosts me. “Yeah, sure, send me an email," they say in that sincere way that sounds like someone saying, “Of course I love you" just to shut you up. It comes with the territory, and a musician has to be Zen ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Jazz and the Rules of the Knife Fight

Read "Jazz and the Rules of the Knife Fight" reviewed by Peter Rubie

There's a great scene near the beginning of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when Butch (Paul Newman) returns to the Hole in the Wall Gang and is challenged for leadership of the gang. As Butch and Harvey face off, Butch says to his enormous opponent, “Let's get the rules straight first." Harvey straightens in surprise ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Scenes from a life in Jazz

Read "Scenes from a life in Jazz" reviewed by Duncan Lamont

About the author Duncan Lamont is one of the UK's musical treasures. I've known who he is for years, but finally through a friend, got to meet and play with him only this year (2018) at The Pizza Express in Soho, London. Sammy Cahn, the legendary lyricist, said about Duncan, “It makes me very happy that ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Does Talent Matter?

Read "Does Talent Matter?" reviewed by Peter Rubie

A good friend of mine, who is a recognized great guitarist, once said to me as we were standing at the bar of the old Birdland, “Charlie Christian really wasn't that good a player, you know." I looked at him for a moment, then said with a smile, “Are you trying to pick a fight with ...

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All About Jazz is looking for jazz musicians to tell their story

All About Jazz is looking for jazz musicians to tell their story

Do you entertain your jazz and non-jazz-loving friends with wild stories of life on the road, or a fellow band member you were forced to spend some time with? That moment when you met one of your jazz heroes? When you first gigged, or got to play with a great band? What's the worst gig you ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Growing Older Jazzfully

Read "Growing Older Jazzfully" reviewed by Peter Rubie

So there I was the other day, taking a yoga lesson, trying to loosen my aching muscles. I'm at that age where it aches if I do exercise, and I stiffen if I don't. The instructor was a young woman with the flexibility of a baby who can suck her own toes. She asked us to ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

The Little Metal Buddha

Read "The Little Metal Buddha" reviewed by Spike Wilner

A short piece this time. But sometimes saying what you want, like playing what you want, in as few words--or notes as possible, is really the way to go.

The Jazz Life is an interesting project I'm engaged in, writing and searching for things to say that focus on what we do in order ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Indecent Heroes and All That Jazz

Read "Indecent Heroes and All That Jazz" reviewed by Peter Rubie

Bill Cosby's deserved fall from Grace, perhaps more than anyone else's--and there has been a dizzying final reckoning for a bunch of them--has really hit me. I've been trying to figure out why that is and it's not obvious. But I think it's partly about how the accusations against Chuck Close have been handled. The problem ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Getting Past (E)Go

Read "Getting Past (E)Go" reviewed by Peter Rubie

I like to play squash, and the best advice a pro ever gave me was this: “Hit the ball in the middle of the racquet." Do you have any idea how difficult that simple piece of advice is to master?

Not so long ago, a friend (Brent Vaartstra) posted a great podcast about overcoming ...

ARTICLE: THE JAZZ LIFE

Telling Stories and Singing Songs

Read "Telling Stories and Singing Songs" reviewed by Peter Rubie

“I believe if you're paying a man to play, and that man is on the bandstand and can play, he should get a chance to tell his story." --Lester Young

Prez was once asked how to improvise, and reportedly he said, “Tell them a story." Telling stories about living the jazz life in the ...