As an avid student of jazz history, I do a lot of reading and researching on the subject, and have found that I’d like to share my thoughts and observations with other enthusiasts. Although I am something of a collector and will write about jazz records at times, this is not a collecting blog, per se. Perhaps this will evolve over time, but as I begin, I intend to write about all sorts of jazz-related topics:
- records & collecting
- books & films
- favorite artists
- jazz history and…
- whatever else is holding my interest at the moment
I suppose the least I could do is introduce myself. I’m a Gen Xer who’s a bit of a jazz obsessive (thus the goofy name of the blog). I live in the Boston suburbs and have been listening to jazz with ever increasing frequency and purpose since I was child.
Having parents who graduated high school in the mid-1940s, I heard lots of big band music growing up, so jazz was part of my awareness even as a kid. And in the ’70s, it was something you’d still see on TV occasionally, as many of the legendary figures were still alive and productive.
In high school, I was the guitarist in my school’s very first “jazz-rock ensemble.” We had a great band director who had us playing a heady mix of Miles Davis, Horace Silver, and Weather Report. As it has been for countless others, Kind of Blue was my gateway drug (we played “So What” and “All Blues” in the band), and it was all the impetus/foundation I needed to slowly explore more and more jazz as I grew as a musician and listener.
During college, which included a stint at the Berklee College of Music, I dug deeper into the Miles Davis discography, and I was floored by ‘Round About Midnight. That led me to Coltrane and Giant Steps and My Favorite Things. Which naturally led to Bird and my most listened to CD as a 22 year-old, The Legendary Dial Masters, Vol. 1.
Although I had a bunch of LPs from my middle school and high school years, I became a CDs-only guy as soon as I made the switch in 1988. But despite the convenience and portability of that early digital format, I always preferred the whole vinyl record experience, from the art work to the initial feedback you get from your speakers when the needle finds the groove. I jumped headlong back into vinyl several years ago and am trying to fill-in some of the holes that all those years of CDs created.
Sacrilegious as it sounds, it’s not so much that I think vinyl sounds inherently sounds better. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. For me, it’s the interaction I have with records (and owning them) that is just so much more satisfying and fun than playing CDs ever was. I will still stream music for convenience, but if I have the time, it’s always going to be a record.
Along the way, there’s been a lot of other music, as well. Fusion, metal, funk, R&B, and on and on. But jazz is what has influenced me the most profoundly, what has affected my life the most deeply, and is what I have always returned to. Far from tiring of it, my fervor is continually refreshed with new discoveries and “compulsions.”
I will post when I have something I want to say, and at the very least, I hope people will find some new music to check out. Thanks for reading.