It was another productive year for "Team AAJ" as we delivered some new features and upgraded several others across the website. We also beefed up our editorial staff to better manage the increasing number of contributors.
The programming staff (Mike Lorenz and myself) continued to build on our foundation that has firmly established AAJ as the nexus for jazz online. And the esprit de corps is stronger than ever as we forge ahead in 2009.
Last year's accomplishments ranged from subtle refinements to dramatic improvements and our impressive spike in traffic has kept us inspired and focused. Musicians have also encouraged us with their praise and suggestions. Thanks everyone!
2009 is already proving to be another exciting year. We're developing a new photo gallery, we're working on a streaming audio solution (so musicians can showcase their music), we're building a gathering place for students, and we're reviewing how best to deliver video.
Back to 2008 and the music.
I heard somewhere (NPR?) that 2008 wasn't a very good year for jazz music. That person and I are obviously not on the same service lists, as I was exposed to consistently strong efforts every day. From the thousands of CDs that arrived at AAJ HQ, here are some that received the most ear play. I highlighted some specific releases from Sunnyside Records as well as some standout vocal releases.
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.