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This month marks a milestone of sorts for yours truly, as it was ten years ago that I started reviewing (and writing this column) for All About Jazz. In that time I've submitted a few more than 1,500 reviews, which translates to around 150 per year. During those ten years I was also reviewing CDs (until January 2008) for Cadence magazine, and for at least a part of that time for Jazz Improv, Marge Hofacre's now-departed Jazz News and a handful of other publications. Where did I find the time? Beats me.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.