Ira Sabin has died at the age of 90. In 1970 he was a Washington, D.C. record store owner and former drummer who started a tabloid-sized publication called Radio Free Jazz. The tabloid grew, ten years later evolved into the magazine Jazz Times and became a major publication covering jazz events, reviewing records and publishing feature articles about musicians. I began writing reviews for Ira when the publication was still Radio Free Jazz, as did Dan Morgenstern, Ira Gitler, Martin Williams and other critics. Speaking with him, as I did frequently, was always stimulating, not least because he was a master of the terminology that survived the swing and bebop eras in which people he addressed, regardless of gender, were “man” and “baby.” Women were “chicks.” Men were “cats.” Ira was full of knowledge, fun and enthusiasm. I will miss him.
Matt Schudel has a comprehensive Sabin obituary in The Washington Post..