Jazz Magazine: if only…

Jazz rings my bell. Especially classic jazz from the USA, released between 1945 and 1975… Miles, Coltrane, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker are at the core of my collection.

Now I like a lot of London-based musos and have paid to see many deliver engaging gigs – Stan Tracy, Andy Sheppard, Alec Dankworth, Guy Barker, Alan Skidmore and the like are all very fine musicians but I don’t think even they would claim to be world-class.

I buy music mags and have tried the various London jazz monthlies. Jazzwise comes nearest to satisfying my needs, but I baulk at its bias towards Anglo jazzers. Countries tend to excel in different musics. England for the best in poprock. Germany for the best classical. Italy for opera. And America, not England, for jazz.

I am, though, deeply impressed by Jazz Magazine, published monthly in Paris: it focuses on the postwar US giants with a healthy leavening of contemporary European artists. The current issue has a Wayne Shorter cover, and recent months have seen Zappa and Hendrix, as well as Miles, Keith Jarrett and Steve Coleman on the cover: a very agreeable mix.

If I lived in France, I’d pick up most issues from my local papetiere, j’en suis sur!


Gerry Smith



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