Friday, July 31, 2009

All About Jazz Seeks Interns

All About Jazz Internship Program: Apply Now!
Philadelphia area interns preferred--not mandatory.

About the Positions

These are unpaid internship positions that allow you the flexibility of working from home or on occasion, at the All About Jazz home office.

Positive references will be given upon successful completion of the internship.

Who Should Apply

Someone who has a passion for jazz, is highly motivated, and has an interest in supporting the music through their efforts at All About Jazz.

This program is ongoing, so please submit your qualifications and area of interest to

Available Positions

Adobe Flash Designer
Job Description Openings
Develop Flash solutions from specifications. 1

"Take Five" Editor
Job Description Openings
Develop articles from musician-submitted information. See Take Five section. 1

Interview Transcription
Job Description Openings
Transcribe audio interviews. 2

Musician Profile Editor
Job Description Openings
Musician Profile Editor. Inspect newly created profiles and make necessary adjustments. Create new profiles. 1

Information Aggregation
Job Description Openings
Guides Editor. Search for and enter jazz related content. Ensure accuracy of existing listings. 1

Facebook Editor
Job Description Openings
Maintain and improve All About Jazz's Facebook presence. 1

About All About Jazz is the leading and longest running jazz music website, attracting both enthusiasts and industry professionals while reaching nearly one million unique visitors per month.

A daily resource of impressive depth and breadth, publishes and syndicates a variety of jazz-oriented content and is the only jazz website capable of serving geo-targeted advertisements and news.

As a social enterprise, is committed to raising the awareness of jazz's cultural significance and historical legacy while playing an essential role in promoting the creative leaders of today. is a 8-time winner of the prestigious Jazz Journalist Association award, and is the highest ranked jazz website according to,, Google, Yahoo and All About Jazz is an AOL Music Network partner and its content appears weekly at

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Headline News!

We changed the static news headline that appears in the top left corner of each All About Jazz page to a scrolling ticker.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guitarist Vic Juris Interviewed at AAJ

Vic Juris is one of the premier jazz guitarists in the business today. Perhaps less known than some of his peers, he is nevertheless admired by all of them and has accumulated, since his emergence on the scene in the 1970s, an impressive portfolio of live performances and recordings. His international career has included associations with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Phil Woods, Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson, Sarah Vaughan, Michel Legrand, Chico Hamilton, Dave Liebman, Gary Peacock, Richie Cole, Mel Torme, Eddie Jefferson, and the prodigal exemplar of the Django Reinhardt = 10635 tradition, Bireli LaGrene = 8540. High on his list of creative gigs has been his association with the highly accomplished David Liebman Group since 1991.

Veteran AAJ Contributor Victor L. Schermer spoke at length with Juris, about his background, playing with Dave Liebman and his own future direction.

Check out Vic Juris: Tension and Release at AAJ today!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Singer Kurt Elling Interviewed at AAJ

When Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane recorded their one and only album together they created a moment that shaped the art of vocal jazz. An instant of beauty transformed into history. Despite a bias towards the original recording, after listening to Kurt Elling's lustrous and drawn butter version, it was clear the past could be silenced to make way for innovation. This is Elling's first recording since his hit, Night Moves (Blue Note), in 2007. To say that this album is anything but spectacularly in tune with his usual panache would be an understatement. In a live performance, Elling and his group captured the true spirit of this music. Not one to recount the past with his albums, this successfully arrests that weak-at-the-knees feeling throughout that he's known for. It's clear Elling's a master in his element.

But there's more here than just a great recording. Elling, in conversation with AAJ Contributor Cicily Janus, provides the inside scoop as to how this recording came about.

Be sure to check out Kurt Elling: Recasting Brilliance at AAJ today!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Four New Jazz Widgets for Your Website or Blog

This Day in Jazz History, Jazz Quote of the Day, The Jazz Session, The Jazz Video Guy Presents

All About Jazz widgets can help you build your website's traffic and keep your readers coming back for more.

Place any or all of these free widgets on your website or blog:

New Widgets!

  This Day in Jazz History

  Quote of the Day

  Jazz Video Guy Presents

  Jazz Session Podcasts

More Widgets



  CD Reviews

  Contest Giveaways


  MP3 Download of the Day

  Musician of the Day


  Upcoming Releases

What are AAJ Widgets?
AAJ Widgets are dynamically updated content boxes that are pushed from to a user's website or blog. If you know how to copy & paste, you can use our daily jazz content on your site in a matter of minutes. Check out how they appear at the Jazz Excursion website, the Montreal Jazz Festival website or the AAJ News Blog. See them all in action on a single page.

How do I place AAJ Widgets on my website?
For the MP3 Download of the Day box, click here.

Adding an article, birthday, cd review and release schedule content box to your website is simple, but it does require some knowledge of HTML. To get started, click one of the live content links above, then follow the instructions.

Once the code is copied to your web page, upload the page, and you're done. AAJ will then automatically update your content once every 15 minutes, once an hour, or once a day. this sample page.

What are the benefits of using AAJ Widgets?
If you want to build "stickyness", then you need to frequently update your website. AAJ can help by providing new content in the form of daily downloads, daily news, articles, cd reviews and upcoming releases. AAJ Widgets gives your readers a reason to come back.

Who should use AAJ Widgets?
If you're looking to retain visitors, the answer is you. Musicians, bloggers, radio stations, venues, festivals, general purpose sites, fan sites, record stores, publicists... everyone can benefit.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Jazz Radio Channels at AAJ

Thousands of listeners tune into the "Jazz Excursion" radio channel from All About Jazz daily. Now, in addition to the classic "Jazz Excursion" listeners can also enjoy "Dinner Jazz Excursion," "Smooth Jazz Expressions," and "Free Form Rock."

All tastefully programmed by longtime radio host John Sutton, tune in 24-7 and listen to some handpicked tracks while spending time at All About Jazz.

The jazz radio box appears in the left column of each All About Jazz page and you can access all four channels from the "RADIO" link on the AAJ navigation bar.

Billie Holiday Fifty Years Later: A Tribute and Reassessment

Fifty years ago, on July 17, 1959, Billie Holiday died an untimely death at age 44 in a New York hospital from complications of drug and alcohol dependency. Now, half a century after her passing, it is an appropriate hommage to reflect once again on her legacy as a singer, an African American woman, a victim-- of a traumatic childhood, spousal abuse, and substance dependence--and a powerful creative force for the times she lived in. Though less of a "pop star" (and much more of a true artist) than the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday is equally an icon of American music, and her legacy is timeless.

Holiday almost disingenuously re-shaped American popular and jazz singing, and in so doing she contributed to the transition from swing to modern jazz, from big bands to the small group formats that have dominated the jazz scene ever since. I say "disingenuous" because she came up and learned music by listening to records and then doing some rather thankless club and road work. She acquired her style from recordings of Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, and others. She was not part of any movement or trend. In spite of this, she beautifully bridged the gap between the "blues" style of African-American singers and players and the white-dominated "swing" that came into vogue around the time she began her career. If you listen to her 1930's recordings with Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, and other swing musicians, you can hear her break through the formulaic rhythms and riffs of the era, going her own way with a song, yet somehow blending seamlessly with her backup musicians. It was perhaps this synergy of musical styles, in addition to her soulful beauty, that so impressed saxophonist Lester Young that he famously called her "Lady Day," and which enabled him to interweave his solos flawlessly with her singing on their priceless recordings together.


Jymie Merritt: Dedication Personified

JYMIE MERRITTJymie Merritt came up in Philadelphia during the evolution of bebop and hard bop, when the town was a hotbed of musical activity. Players like John Coltrane, Pat Martino, Benny Golson = 7090, and Philly Joe Jones were getting started there, and musicians like Charlie Parker, J.J. Johnson, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis would come to the city to perform and to mentor them.

Merritt soon spread his "on the road" wings with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, including some memorable recording dates, and then did seminal work with Max Roach, also playing with many other groups during that career-expanding period. During his extended stays in his home town, Merritt established workshops called "Forerunners," playing a major role in keeping the Philly jazz scene alive and well. He continues to do the workshops at age 83, still going strong as a musician, composer and mentor.

On July 12th, 2009, at the Jazz Fair produced by pianist and Chairman of the University of the Arts Jazz Department Don Glanden and sponsored by the university and the Philadelphia Jazz Heritage Project, Merritt, along with keyboardist Trudy Pitts, received an award for lifetime achievement.

That occasion prompted the following interview with him, which is filled with memories and perspectives that only a totally immersed and committed musician such as Merritt could bring with him to a conversation. As will be apparent in the interview, his love of the music is matched only by his personal warmth and introspective intelligence.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Six New Contest Giveaways: Dave Douglas, Rhino's "Hommage a Nesuhi", Oscar Peterson Tribute, B.B. King DVD and More!

Registered members can enter our latest contests and win a chance at the following:

Enter the JazzArtCollection "The Jacksonville Jazz Series" Giveaway Contest
Launched 23-Jul-09

Enter the Greenleaf Music "Dave Douglas - Spirit Moves" Giveaway Contest
Launched 18-Jul-09

Enter the "B.D. Lenz - Hit It and Quit" Giveaway Contest
Launched 15-Jul-09

Enter the Resonance Records "Resonance Big Band - Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson" Giveaway Contest
Launched 12-Jul-09

Enter the Rhino Handmade Records "Hommage a Nesuhi" Giveaway Contest
Launched 01-Jul-09

Enter the Eagle Rock Entertainment "B.B. King - Live at Montreux 1993" DVD Giveaway Contest
Launched 28-Jun-09

Look for more great giveaways in the coming weeks!

George Wein: Back to Doing His Thing

Not many people stand in shoes similar to the ones in which jazz impresario George Wein now finds himself. Having invented the jazz festival more than half a century ago, his name is synonymous with the Newport Jazz Festival, his first and most well-known child of that genus. He led a company that expanded on the flagship festival in the Rhode Island resort city and produced a number of festivals at one time, including those in New Orleans, Saratoga Springs (NY), Chicago, and the two-week extravaganza in New York City each summer.

In 2007, he announced the sale of Festival Productions, which then became the Festival Network. He was no longer at the helm, but remained associated with it, though not in any controlling way. Late last year, he had to witness the financial faltering of the company. Despite the companies claims to the contrary early this year, it would have resulted in no Newport festival this year. The two-week jazz festival in New York City that Wein's company started in 1972 went dormant this past June.

So at age 83, Wein jumped back into the fray.

This is a man who started his festival odyssey when Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House (10 presidents ago) and established himself as an impresario all over the globe thereafter. The octogenarian rolled up his sleeves, reassembled some staff and worked hard to revive both his jazz and folk festivals for 2009 that had their homes in Newport. Next year, the New York City event will return.

He remarks casually: "I'm glad I did. It gave me a new start in life."

Not many people say they are getting a new start at the age of 83. Those are the shoes Wein is wearing and he wears them well.

After the failures of the Festival Network--they owed money to Newport and other entities--things were bleak on the festival front. When Wein first announced early this year that he would come back, there was uncertainty about how it would all come together. But he has always been a man that got things done. Many times under duress.

Wein put out a formal public request for sponsorships, but went ahead and forged a very strong lineup for his new enterprise, at first calling it George Wein's Jazz Festival 55, as this year marks the 55th anniversary of the festival in Newport. In early July, it was announced that CareFusion would come aboard as the main title corporate sponsor. The formal name is now George Wein's CareFusion Jazz Festival 55, scheduled for August 7-9 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport.

The lineup is rich, including Roy Haynes, Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Esperanza Spalding, Christian McBride and many more.

CareFusion, a global provider of product and services aimed at improving the productivity and safety of health care, will also be sponsoring other jazz festivals, including the one Wein plans for New York City in 2010.

The George Wein's Folk Festival 50 will be held August 1 and 2 and includes Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie, among others.

The Newport Jazz Festival legacy has always been important to Wein. It's foremost in his motivations for getting involved yet again. The official name changed over the years, with varying corporate sponsorships--Kool cigarettes, Schlitz beer, JVC, to name some. But the Newport name has lived on, even though the festival was transplanted to New York City in 1972 and didn't return until 1981.

"It's just a little more direct than what I wanted to," says Wein of his current involvement. But asked if he's glad to be back, he exclaims, "Oh, man! Are you kidding? I'm enjoying it. I think it's a great festival I have this year. I've got a few veterans. I've got a lot of young people. Exciting music. It's going to be a great festival, I think."

After he sold Festival Productions, "I was still working. I had a three-year contract with them. I was still at the festivals and giving input. But I didn't have control. They stopped paying me after a year and 11 months. They stopped paying everybody. They had no money."

"When they broke everything, they broke everything," he laments. "The problem is they ran out of money. They did not know what budgets were. They were dealing with investors' money. They had an aim to try and do something that would be much bigger than is possible. We (prior to his sale) stayed in business because we learned if you spend $10, you've got to take in $11. They weren't thinking that philosophy. They were saying, spend $1,000 and maybe someone will come along and give you $100,000. It doesn't work that way."


Thursday, July 16, 2009

World's Top Jazz Website Teams with Jazz Video Guy has joined forces with Bret Jazz Video Guy Primack to bring his popular jazz videos to a wider audience.

"I've admired Bret Primack, a master storyteller, from afar for many years," said All About Jazz founder and publisher Michael Ricci. "Like everyone else who has seen the development of his videos on the web, I've actually watched him become the pre-eminent producer of jazz video. We're thrilled to make AAJ a convenient spot to access Bret's latest episodes as well as his impressive archive."

"The audience for video on the web has grown dramatically over the past few years and the opportunity to have my work featured on All About Jazz will help even more dedicated fans find these videos," said Bret Primack, aka the "Jazz Video Guy."

Bret will be posting two videos each week, including episodes of his new series, {{Ray Charles = 5648}}, Genius, as well as video he has produced for Billy Taylor, Sonny Rollins and Joe Lovano. The partnership launches with "Ray Charles – Have Piano, Will Travel” featuring interviews with George Wein, Billy Taylor, Ira Gitler and Steve Turre, as well as rare Ray Charles performance video.

About All About Jazz is the leading and longest running jazz music website, attracting both enthusiasts and industry professionals while reaching nearly one million unique visitors per month. A daily resource of impressive depth and breadth, publishes and syndicates a variety of jazz-oriented content and is the only jazz website capable of serving geo-targeted advertisements and news.

As a social enterprise, is committed to raising the awareness of jazz's cultural significance and historical legacy while playing an essential role in promoting the creative leaders of today. is a 8-time winner of the prestigious Jazz Journalist Association award, and is the highest ranked jazz website according to,, Google, Yahoo and All About Jazz is an AOL Music Network partner and its content appears weekly at

About the Jazz Video Guy

A writer who has published over 200 articles and liner notes, and a documentary filmmaker, Bret has been at the forefront of new media since he co-founded Jazz Central Station, the first major Jazz website, in 1995. In 1997, he was the first Jazz blogger with Bird Lives, where, as the "Pariah," his heartfelt diatribes struck a responsive chord in the music industry.

In 1999, Bret began producing video webcasts for the Global Music Network including both Dave Brubeck and The Saxophone Summit Live from Birdland. He started his own new media company Planet Bret in 2002, and has since produced websites and videos for such artists as Sonny Rollins, Joe Lovano, Billy Taylor, Denny Zeitlin and Hendrik Meurkens.

With the advent of mini-DV video production and the web as a free distribution medium, Bret began actively producing videos for jazz artists on a regular basis and posting them on YouTube and iTunes in 2006 as the Jazz Video Guy.

His documentaries and video podcasts include Orrin Keepnews, Producer, and Ray Charles, Genius, for the Concord Music Group and The Sonny Rollins Podcast for Rollins' own Doxy Records, an ongoing documentary about the "Saxophone Colossus."

Today, Bret has over 350 videos online, with over 6.5 million views.

Place our Video Widget on your Web Site or Blog!

Just copy and paste this code onto your website page or blog. We'll update your box weekly with a new "Jazz Video Guy Presents" video.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Unprecedented Jazz Festival Coverage at All About Jazz

Follow All About Jazz's daily coverage of music festivals from around the world!

The height of the jazz festival season is upon us and your friends at All About Jazz are out and about reporting from festivals happening in the United States and Canada to several destinations in Europe. The breadth of AAJ's coverage is staggering--we started in April and will continue on through the end of the year.

If you missed some of our previous reports, want to follow what we are covering now, or check out some of the festivals we plan to cover in the near future, read on...

Coverage from the Copenhagen Jazz Festival and the Stockholm Jazz festival will arrive shortly.

Look for more festival coverage from Newport (and our latest interview with founder George Wein), SFJazz, Litchfield, London, Panama, Buenos Aires, Punkt, Detroit, North Sea, and Monterey in the coming months.

All About Jazz continues to provide the most extensive jazz coverage anywhere, and there's no better place to find out what's happening at festivals around the world. Check out reviews of your favorite artists with AAJ's in-depth coverage of the summer festival season.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trumpeter/Vocalist Kermit Ruffins Interviewed at AAJ

There's a rebirth occurring in New Orleans music, and trumpeter/vocalist Kermit Ruffins finds himself front and center. While the post-Katrina recovery has meant many things for the Crescent City, in a number of ways it's been musicians who have taken the lead in bringing the city back to its traditions.

New Orleans is Ruffins' muse and it provides the fuel for a creative fire that started years ago when he first discovered the music he so loves today. But more than that, Ruffins is an entertainer, and he knew early on that he could make a living doing what he loved, in the city he loved.

AAJ Contributor Tod Jenkins spoke with Ruffins about growing up in the Big Easy, his time with Rebirth Brass Band, his latest release, Livin' A Tremé Life (Basin Street Records, 2009), and more.

Check out Kermit Ruffins: Swingin' and Smilin' at AAJ today!

2009 Montreal Jazz Festival

I spent five days (July 1-5) in Montreal taking in the festival and hanging with fellow AAJer John Kelman. You can read John's nine-day coverage here.

Highlights for me included the three Erik Truffaz concerts, as well as the Aaron Parks and Joshua Redman concerts.

General Housecleaning

We made several small adjustments to the website over the last couple of days in an effort to streamline the interface. We removed link clutter, added an object ("Jazz Video Guy Presents"), removed an object, moved an object, renamed objects, added a "More" graphic, removed the underlines on hotlinks, added some space, lightened the background color of the boxes in the right and left panels, and changed the background pattern. Whew!

Six figure day!

AAJ topped 100,000 readers for the first time on July 1st. 102,570 to be exact!