Monday, August 31, 2009

Attn: Photographers! New AAJ Photo Gallery Testers Wanted

Dear Fellow Photographers,

All About Jazz is nearing the completion of our new photo gallery and we're looking for a handful of testers that can help us find bugs and give us their impressions on our software (features, ease of use, missing functionality, etc.)

We're looking for testers that can dedicate a couple of hours a week of quality testing time which means putting our software through its paces. You'd work directly with AAJ's lead programmer (and gallery developer) Mike Lorenz. If you're interested, contact Mike at and he'll send you info on how you can get started.

The new gallery will allow you to upload high volume photos and associate them with musicians and events. We also employ tagging technology making your photos easier to find. And we plan to use the gallery to drive traffic to your website, so if you sell prints or want to market your services, this is an ideal way to reach the largest collection of jazz enthusiasts on the web.

Contact Mike if you can help us.

And we look forward to featuring everyone's work at AAJ in the near future.

Thank you!

Michael Ricci
Founder/Publisher, All About Jazz

P.S. If you haven't signed up at AAJ, please do so here. You'll need to register to test. If you signed up but forgot your login info, contact me.

Photo Credit
John Fowler

Legendary British Saxophonist John Surman Interviewed at AAJ

It's increasingly risky to be a musician on the road. When British saxophonist John Surman was traveling from his home in Oslo, Norway, to New York City in September, 2007 for a recording session, he almost lost his baritone saxophone to the airlines. "It is a nightmare traveling now," says Surman, "and hardly a tour goes by without something going missing, and of course there's the damage problem. Nowadays you get one handbag, which of course is my soprano, so I always have that; and wherever possible, I'll perhaps take the baritone mouthpiece in case worse comes to worst. But that being a metal mouthpiece, it's always a trouble at security. The security guards think I've got a snub nose revolver or something. I don't know what they think I'm gonna do with a metal mouthpiece [laughs]."

In AAJ Managing Editor John Kelman's extensive and in-depth interview with the legendary saxophonist, John Surman: From Boy Choirs to Big Horns, Surman talks about his lengthy career and the perils of traveling, with particular focus on his latest release, Brewster's Rooster (ECM, 2009), an overdue return to conventional jazz form with an anything but conventional jazz group - guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jack DeJohnette.

As part of AAJ's extensive coverage of Surman and Brewster's Rooster, you can also read John Kelman's review, published a couple weeks back, as well as a brand new review of Rain on the Window (ECM, 2008), a stunningly beautiful duo date with church organist Howard Moody, published today at AAJ.

AAJ is committed to providing the most extensive and in-depth coverage surrounding new releases, so be sure to check out all the buzz about John Surman, Brewster's Rooster and Rain on the Window at AAJ today!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pianist Yaron Herman Interviewed at AAJ

Pianist Yaron Herman, an Israeli now living in Paris, is one of the most talented artists of the Parisian jazz musical scene. He was a promising basketball player on the Israeli national junior team when he was cut short by a knee injury. He then decided to take up playing the piano at age 16. His teacher, the renowned Opher Brayer--famous for his methods based on philosophy and mathematics--taught him the craving for self-knowledge and discovery.

At 19, Yaron left for Boston to learn at the Berklee College School of Music, but quickly decided to return to Tel Aviv as it didn't satisfy his personal search. On the way back he stopped over in Paris, met some musicians during a jam session and decided to remain there. He has developed a theory of musical improvisation called Real Time Composition, which led to a series of lectures, given at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Following the success of his two last albums, Time for Everything (2007) and Muse (2009)--the latter recently nominated for the French Victoires du Jazz award, and both released on the superb French label Laborie Jazz--Yaron Herman is pursuing a marathon-like tour that is taking him to the four corners of the world.

AAJ Contributor Jean-Marc Gelin spoke with Herman about his trio, working with American musicians, and his uncompromising view of what his artistry must be.

Check out Yaron Herman: An Urgent Need to Play at AAJ today!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guitarist Wayne Krantz Interviewed at AAJ...And More!

Wayne KrantzGuitarist Wayne Krantz is one of the great non-conformists. An improviser who avoids stylistic limitations and cliche like the plague, his music draws from diverse elements and welds them sonically to create something quite personal.

Krantz has turned his back on recording studios for the last 15 years, choosing instead to release live shows through his own Website. After a month or so, these recordings are removed, as Krantz has little interest in the work which lies behind him and is always searching for new challenges. Like a painter with a new canvas, his palette always throws up some interesting new colors.

A decade-and-a-half later, and reunited with long-term associates bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Keith Carlock, Krantz has returned to the recording studio to record Krantz Carlock Lefebvre, just released by Abstract Logix on August 18, 2009.

AAJ Contributor Ian Patterson spoke with Krantz about the making of the album, and blurring the boundaries between form and freedom. Check out Ian's interview, Wayne Krantz: Back on Track, at AAJ today.

But that's not all. AAJ is featuring even more coverage of what is surely one of the most important guitar releases of the year:

  1. Read Ian's insightful review of Krantz Carlock Lefebvre;

  2. Download and/or listen to Krantz's “Holy Joe," a complete track from Krantz Carlock Lefebvre, today's AAJ Daily Download;

  3. Watch Krantz, Carlock and Lefebvre live in Marcia from 1999, today's AAJ Daily Video;

  4. Watch out for Abstract Logix's giveaway of Krantz Carlock Lefebvre, an AAJ contest giveaway. The contest begins on September 4, and all you have to do is follow Wayne Krantz at AAJ by clicking here; you'll be automatically entered into the contest when it's formally announced.

AAJ is committed to providing the most extensive coverage available surrounding new releases, so be sure to check out all the buzz about Wayne Krantz and Krantz Carlock Lefebvre at AAJ today!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Harmolodic Guitarist Bern Nix Interviewed at AAJ

New York-based free jazz guitarist Bern Nix is one of the few people who are well-versed in Ornette Coleman's "harmolodics" style. He played with Coleman from 1975-1988, and now leads the Bern Nix Trio in New York City. In his compositions and his intriguing covers of standards, he is always looking in the corners of the music for something new.

AAJ Contributor Simon J. Harper spoke at length with Nix, about his early roots, the life-changing experience of working with Coleman, and his own more recent work.

Check out Bern Nix: A History In Harmolodics at AAJ today!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby: A New Column at All About Jazz

All About Jazz has launched a new column in collaboration with musician, composer, writer and humorist, Bill Anschell. You can read Bill's latest "Notes from the Lobby" installment "Careers in Jazz" (published yesterday) along with his archive here.

Bill Anschell's Notes from the Lobby

More About Bill

Seattle native Bill Anschell returned to the Emerald City in 2002 after spending 25 years studying, composing, and performing across the country and around the world.

Anschell left Seattle after high school, studying for two years at Oberlin College (Ohio), then earning his Music Degree from Wesleyan University (Connecticut). At Wesleyan, Anschell worked closely with saxophone great Bill Barron. He also studied semi-privately with South Indian mrdangum master T Ranganathan, kindling a passion for rhythmic experimentation that has driven Anschell's music ever since.


More AAJ widgets in the right column

We've added four more AAJ Widgets to the right column of our blog: Today's Birthdays, Quote of the Day, Contest Giveaway of the Week, and This Day in Jazz History.

If you want to add an AAJ widget (or two or ten) to your website or blog, click here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Singer Karrin Allyson Interviewed at AAJ

Karrin Allyson is one of the busiest jazz vocalists on the domestic and international scene these days. Starting her musical journey studying classical piano, Allyson discovered jazz and jazz singing in college and thus claimed her future.

Over the years, Allyson has honed her singing, songwriting and piano skills and has recorded twelve CDs, all on the Concord Record label; the longtime association considered a major feat in the recording industry. This has led to three Grammy nominations in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category; the latest nomination coming in 2008 for her Imagina: Songs of Brasil CD.

AAJ Contributor Marcia Hillman spoke at length with Allyson about Imagina, why she sings, and the state of jazz festivals today.

Check out Karrin Allyson: Has Jazz, Will Travel at AAJ today!

Careers in Jazz

A very funny article by pianist Bill Anschell: Read Careers in Jazz.

Monday, August 17, 2009

AAJ Interviews Some of Today's Most Intrepid Big Band Leaders

The big band in jazz has a long and glorious history. It was a prevalent form in jazz music in the '20s and '30s, comprising a substantial part of America's popular music heard on radio, spun on gramophones and record players, and enjoyed in dance halls. In the post-World War II era music began to change, as the harmonic and rhythmic breakthroughs of bebop began to impact the music.

Dave Rivello Ensemble

Big bands fell out of favor. Financially, it was always tough to keep large group on the road. But big bands have always survived. Still, it's still a precarious undertaking. The cost is large and the demand, not so much. Yet it's still attractive enough for veterans like Charles Tolliver and younger men like Guillermo Klein and John Hollenbeck to proceed.

Maria Schneider has paved the way in recent years with her fabulous orchestra, a Grammy and armfuls of industry awards. {{Darcy James Argue = 13953}} composes and arranges for a fine group in New York City that is rising to critical acclaim and gaining a following.

Many of the young composers have tasted different kinds of music along their journeys and are incorporating those elements in their work; jazz being inclusive, not exclusive. But with the changing music industry, the beleaguered economy, the still-subservient status of jazz in the United States and all the logistical problems of maintaining a large group, a question one might ask about why young musicians are still carrying the torch is: Why? Why go through the headaches?

Veteran AAJ Contributor R.J. DeLuke spoke with the leaders of five of today's large ensembles - Dave Rivello, Jacam Mandricks, Chris Jentsch, Nicholas Urie, and J.C. Sanford and David Schumacher - about the state of the big band today and why, in the face of such adversity, they still choose to move intrepidly forward.

Check out Large Ensembles: Is There a Place in This Large Music World? at AAJ today!

Attention: Publicists! Tips to Freely Syndicate Your Announcements via RSS, Twitter, FriendFeed and All About Jazz

All About Jazz has developed a simple solution for you to freely syndicate your jazz-related news announcements and press releases for maximum exposure. Follow these simple steps and your blog posts will appear in your RSS feed, on your Twitter page, at the All About Jazz News Center and get syndicated around the web via AAJ's own syndication feeds and the AAJ News widget.

Seven Steps To Syndication:

  1. Sign up at Blogger:;
  2. Post a press release to Blogger;
  3. Send Michael Ricci a link to your blog;
  4. All About Jazz will update your AAJ publicity firm listing with your RSS feed location;
  5. All About Jazz technology will read your RSS feed (nightly) and post your new announcements to the AAJ News Center automatically. AAJ will also syndicate your announcements via our own RSS Feed, Google, and our News Widget;
  6. Sign up at Twitter:;
  7. Sign up at FriendFeed:;
    • Click "Tools" and click "Post to Twitter." Friendfeed will auto-post all announcement headlines and links to Twitter for you. Example:
Setting up these accounts will take minutes and the benefits are an RSS feed, a blog, a Twitter feed, and syndication through the AAJ News Center. All for free.

Michael Ricci
All About Jazz

Q: Why do articles posted at All About Jazz outperform similar articles posted at other jazz sites?

A: All About Jazz has the highest page rank on the jazz web, so articles posted to AAJ will place higher at Google than the same article posted to another jazz site or blog.

What is PageRank (PR)?

Google assigns a numeric value of 0-10 for each webpage on the Internet. This PageRank value is Googles way of denoting a sites importance. The PageRank is determined by a logarithmic scale, depending on the links to a page. In other words, every page that links to a specific website is a “vote” for that page.

If the PageRank of the site that links to a specific website is high, it’s “vote” carries more weight and helps to boost the receiving pages PageRank. It is like “who you know” in the Internet Realm. In other words, a page that is linked to by many pages with high PageRank receives a high rank itself. If a site has no links to it, it is deemed unimportant to Google and will receive a 0 PageRank.

All About Jazz's page rank

Page Rank Check

View other page ranks

AAJ will improve your Blog's rank

Syndicating your blog's content at AAJ will improve your blogrank, in particular, your standing in the "Top Jazz blogs by the number of incoming links" category.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

2009 AAJ Orchestra Concert Photos

We're posting photos from the All About Jazz Orchestra's first concert at Pier 66, on the Hudson River in New York last night.

They're currently available at the AAJ Bulletin Board and will soon be archived at the upcoming AAJ Photo Gallery.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Interface Improvements

We're always looking to improve how we present information--check out these two latest solutions:

1. Drag your mouse over the author's name on an article's byline to get a quick snapshot of the author...

2. We're consolidating the boxes that appear in the right column of our pages. This example shows four tabs within a single box on a musician's profile page...

Friday, August 7, 2009

AAJ Orchestra to Premiere at Pier 66 (NYC) on August 14th - Free!

Jazz Comes off the Web and onto the River
Free Jazz Concert on the Hudson
Pier 66, on the Hudson River at West 26th Street

Friday, August 14, 2009
7:00 PM to 11:00 PM

New York City, A brand-new jazz ensemble, The All About Jazz Orchestra, will give its debut performance on Friday, August 14, 2009, outdoors on a Hudson River Pier. Admission is free.

All About Jazz is a Website for jazz fans and musicians at For the past year, professional jazz musicians from various parts of the country who regularly communicate with one anther on the site's Musician-to-Musician forum have been planning to meet in New York to socialize, jam, and give a concert. Most of the players, who know each other only through their online conversations, will meet face to face for the first time at a rehearsal the night before the concert.

The All About Jazz Orchestra will play six original tunes, all written by members of the band, ranging in style from rhythmic bossa nova to contemporary experimental.

Kicking off the evening will be an avant-garde group from the Washington, D.C., area, the Vector Trio. The full orchestra concert follows. Afterwards there will be an open jam session until 11:00pm for band members and special guests.

Jay Norem, a jazz composer from Atlanta who in July of last year conceived the idea of bringing together AAJ forum members in person, is already looking to the future. "This, the first-ever Internet jazz band, is something that we hope to continue as long as the All About Jazz Website exists," he says. "Our hope is that this will be an enduring part of this site's dedication to keeping jazz very much in the here and now."

The venue for the concert and jam is Pier 66 Maritime, an outdoor cafe and performance space on a permanently anchored barge at Pier 66, on the Hudson River at West 26th Street. Also anchored at the pier are the decommissioned lightship Frying Pan and the fireboat John J. Harvey, both tourist attractions.

The performances begin at 7:00 pm. Pier 66 Maritime does not accept reservations, there is no cover charge or minimum, and it attracts a sizable crowd.

The manager's advice: Get there early! For more information contact Bernard Ente.

Three New Interviews: Tim Berne, Scott Tinkler, Weasel Walter

Tim BerneScott TinklerWeasel Walter