Taking Shape!

Michael Ricci By

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Dear fellow contributor,

All About Jazz continues to improve as we further upgrade our appearance, optimize our performance, and launch new features. As always, we have some important and timely news to share, so please read on...


1. Team Concept: Baseline Expectations
2. Design Changes

3. Contributor Profile Changes

4. Article Changes

5. Opinion and "Reassessing" Pieces Wanted

6. My iTunes Playlist: Submit Yours Today!

7. We're looking for reviews of...

8. Job Opening: Video of the Day Editor

1. Team Concept: Baseline Expectations

We are in the process of making major improvements to AAJ which will allow us to grow our business within an increasingly competitive market. That means more planning, more programming, more delegation and more communication. With a modest editorial staff and with John Kelman having to handle a disproportionate amount of the editing, we must make changes. We had to part with some writers who simply required too much editorial intervention and we have to establish baseline expectations for all moving forward. We feel very good about our core group, but we must ask everyone to handle the basics moving forward. And the basics include: uploading and inserting cover art; uploading and inserting photos; using curly braces to hotlink a musician's name and placing album titles in italics. Essentially, the less time John has to spend on your articles, the more time he can spend on writing and thinking strategically, and that's where John needs to spend his time.

If you need help with photos or have any questions, please ask John or myself and we will personally help you.

2. Design Changes

We're in the midst of a complete website makeover. We launched our newly optimized home page (50% faster) and we continue the site-wide conversion to the new look one script at a time. Here's an example of our sparkling new musician profile page. We're also vastly improving our mobile interface making it cleaner and the text much easier to read. We'll continue to improve the appearance and optimize the performance of the entire website moving forward as there's more to come.

3. Contributor Profile Changes

We revamped the contributor profile page making it much easier for you to access your pending articles, your previously published articles, and your photos. We're also using tabs to present your music choices and favorites. Please take a moment to view your profile page and update it with a new photo, your bio, and related links. Find your profile here.

4. Article Changes

About two or so months ago we changed the appearance of all article pages and shortly thereafter, we improved the article submission form. Changes worth mentioning include a new author byline pop-up window, repositioned social icons, a more readable font size, improved search engine optimization, improved comments handling, new icons, and a general improvement to the page's appearance. The article read count now appears to the left of the Article Search box and the read count is hotlinked to the article's edit form.

Our goal is to continually improve how we present your words and we hope you're as happy with the new look as we are!

5. Opinion and "Reassessing" Pieces Wanted

Our last two Opinion pieces "When is a Jazz Festival (Not) a Jazz Festival? and Why Is Jazz A Dirty Word? were very popular and generated between 30 and 40 comments each. If you want to express a point of view or weigh in on a topic that is near and dear, please submit an opinion piece.

We're always on the lookout for reviews of older (and classic) releases. If you would like to provide a fresh perspective on a jazz album released between the 50s and the 70s, feel free to submit them under the Reassessing column category.

My iTunes Playlist: Submit Yours Today!

We'd like to regularly publish iTunes playlists as articles and we wanted to start by publishing favorite playlists by our contributor community. If you use iTunes and create playlists, please upload one of your faves here. It only takes a minute.

7. We're looking for reviews of the following:

Aaron Goldberg and Guillermo Klein—Bienestan (Sunnyside)
Eliane Elias—Light My Fire (Concord)
Gonzalo Rubalcaba—Faith (5 Passion)
Harris, Sanchez, Scott Ninety Miles (Concord)

If you plan to review any of these CDs please move them to the top of your stack.

And if you're into straight-ahead jazz, I can send you some recent Summit Records releases. Just let me know. First come, first serve.

8. Job Opening: Video of the Day Editor

We're looking to fill the video of the day editor position. It requires a few minutes a day either scheduling videos (to appear as videos of the day) or searching YouTube for interesting videos to share with the readers. If you're interested, please contact John Kelman.

Thanks for your continued support and creativity,

Michael Ricci Founder/Publisher


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