Archive for the ‘Jazz Magazine’ Category

Music for grown-ups on the mag racks: two new Miles, one new Dylan cover

December 4, 2008
Key musicians for grown-ups Miles Davis and Bob Dylan feature prominently on the magazine racks this month.

Promoting the sooopah-dooopah new Kind Of Blue box, my two favourite jazz mags both have Miles cover features. Jazzwise (Dec/Jan) uses one of the iconic Sony photos for its eight-page feature.

Jazz Magazine (Paris) uses a less familiar shot of Miles on the evocative cover of its Dec issue to trail a multi-part feature.

They nicely complement the striking portrait used by Jazziz for its September issue.

The new issue (1066, 27 Nov) of the redesigned Rolling Stone has a mid-‘60s Dylan photo on its cover (he’s one of four different collectors’ covers) announcing its Special Issue – The 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time.

Dylan manages seventh place in the top 100, which was compiled by polling a couple of hundred celebs/music bizzers. I didn’t bother reading any of the short articles on the “great singers” (Dylan’s praises are sung by Bono), but the issue is a lovely addition to the collection of Dylan cover issues.

Surprisingly, there’s no place in the top 100 for tenors like Pavarotti, sopranos like Callas or lounge greats like Sinatra and Ella. Rolling Stone must have run out of space to insert the qualifying adjectives “Baby Boomer-plus rockpop” between “Greatest” and “Singers Of All Time”. Without them, the title of the otherwise admirable 40-page feature is laughable.

Gerry Smith

Jazz Magazine: if only…

September 22, 2008
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