Up to my ears in curricular and non-curricular matters since my return from New York, I may or may not get around to writing more about last week’s Jazz Journalists Association awards afternoon. In the meantime, Arnold Jay Smith posted a lively summary on Ted Gioia’s jazz.com blog. In his lead paragraph, he alludes to the demise in the past few months of of several jazz magazines, including Jazz Times, Coda and Jazz Review.
In the face of what is fast becoming a debacle of biblical proportions for jazz, the Jazz Journalists Association held its 13th Annual Awards buffet at Jazz Standard on Tuesday, June 16. From all over the globe they came; scribes, radio and computer folks, business and professorial types, from the east, Midwest and western U.S., from across the pond, from up Scandinavia way, from down in the Caribbean, out of Africa, India, Russia and Kazakhstan. Proving once again that jazz is a multi-cultural, international language.
To read all of A.J.’s report, click here. The photo below shows Mr. Smith and Sharony Andrews preparing for the arrival of guests at the 2002 ceremony at the Jazz Standard. He was just as impeccably attired this year. His face, unfortunately, is mostly obscured by the brim of his chapeau, but his shoes are on full display.
JJA President Howard Mandel’s exhaustive report on the afternoon, generously illustrated with photographs, is in PDF form at this internet address.
Finally, as evidence that I really did show up this year, in this photo by JJA member Steve Sussman, I am announcing that the 2009 award for lifetime achievement in jazz journalism goes to Mike Zwerin (shown here on the left). Mike is most likely the only jazz writer of standing who doubles on bass trumpet and trombone. He was in the original Miles Davis-Gerry Mulligan-Gil Evans Birth of The Cool band. For decades, he has written from Paris with forthrightness, humor and the insights of a trained musician. Zwerin was unable to attend. His friend the novelist Rafi Zabor accepted for him.