It is a truth so commonplace that it has become a cliché: You needn't be American to be a first-rate jazz musician. The United States of America brought together and mixed the elements that made jazz. But it is not, after all, something in the water, the genes or the sociology of The United States that makes good jazz improvisers. Rather, it is talent, inspiration, hard work and experience--the combination that creates artists in any field. Some black musicians used to say of white ones, … [Read more...]

Everywhere, Part 2

Here are more recommended CDs by jazz artists not from the United States. Gilad Atzmon, Musik: Rearranging the 20th Century (Enja). It is unlikely that Atzmon can separate himself from Israeli-Palestinian politics--or that he wishes to--but this CD is more about music and less about ideologies than, say, his Exile. The context of the album is, I suppose, world music, but it has plenty of Atzmon's fearsome, lovely, sax and clarinet work. I have heard private recordings of his straight-ahead jazz … [Read more...]

Everywhere, Part 3

Just as the music is everywhere, so are Rifftides readers. A recent check of the site meter shows you in these places, among others: Australia Melbourne Canberra Austria Vienna Canada Guelph, Ontario Belleville, Ontario Toronto, Ontario China Shanghai Beijing Czech Republic Brno Prague Denmark Glostrup Germany Herne Berlin Holland Amsterdam Israel Bet Nehemya Tel Aviv Japan Kyoto Tokyo Norway Kjellerhollen Oslo Sweden Viskafors United Kingdom Glasgow Parkwood, Gillingham London West Byfleet, … [Read more...]