Celebrating jazz excellence — Awards, honors and privileges

The NEA zeroes out its Jazz Masters program, the Grammys cuts categories so pop best-sellers regain prominence vis a vis less obviously commercial stars, but the Jazz Journalists Association's 15th annual Jazz Awards -- to be held June 11, 2011 with an afternoon gala with all star music at City Winery, NYC, satellite parties hosted by prominent fans and grass roots organizations around the U.S. and streaming live video on the web at www.JJAJazzAwards.org -- hails loud and clear the achievements of the jazz music and media makers. … [Read more...]

Tesser on top 10s

Neil Tesser blogs about best of the year roundups on Chicago Music Examiner.com -- and is added to the blogroll. A gifted writer and broadcaster, an incisive cultural critic, Neil has been a close colleague of mine starting in Chicago in the '70s (remember them? Most readers, maybe not). We've worked simultaneously for the Chicago Reader and Down Beat, among other publications, and WBEZ-FM when it was an NPR jazz station, on the Chicago Jazz Festival programming committee and even co-frontlined a Critics Band (both playing … [Read more...]

JazzTimes’ robust recovery

The November issue of JazzTimes magazine is the first created (not just published) under the imprimatur of Madavor Media, LLC imprint, and the periodical looks very much the same as before its hiatus last spring. Editors Lee Mergener and Evan Haga remain, columnists Nat Hentoff and Nate Chinen are present, most if not all recent editorial contributors remain on the masthead and features -- drumming being the issue's loose theme -- are by regulars, though Fernando González, former editor of rival Jazziz, came onboard to write the story on … [Read more...]

Paeans to Hank Jones

My profile of pianist Hank Jones, who turned 91 on July 31, is in the August issue of Down Beat and excerpted here. Space limitations disallowed any of the resounding shout-outs I asked for from a bevy of musicians to make the print edition: No such problem on the web! So read what several pianists with styles of their own, and one of Hank's most admiring collaborators,  have to say about an eminently modest but extraordinarily accomplished gentleman.  … [Read more...]

On magazine’s circulation figures

Jazz Times was credited with 100,000 circulation in virtually all press accounts of its recent transfer of ownership -- which with annual subscription rate of nearly $24 per year suggests annual income from readership alone (there's income from ads, too) easily be in excess of $2 million dollars.But as I noted in my last posting, the circulation figure is not verified by the non-profit Audit Bureau of Circulation or anyone else. It comes from Jazz Times advertising department, which of course sells ads on the basis of how many eyeballs can be … [Read more...]

Losing a jazz mag?

Rumors abound that JazzTimes magazine is folding -- it's laid off employees, notified writers of waits for May payments, not shipped its June issue to the printers and failed to sell itself to a new publisher. A senior contributor says he was told not to write his next column until asked for it. These are rumors, I stress: I've emailed JT's publisher and editors for confirmation or denial, comment and clarification, without response so far. It wouldn't be terribly surprising, given the economic drift and hard times for print media. But the … [Read more...]