Welcome back to Jazz History Online! I’m pleased to report that our entire archive is now fully functional on the new site. With help from a few of our supporters, we’ll do some work inside the site which will help our search visibility on Google and other search engines, and correct several outdated links.
We were scheduled to post a new issue a month ago, but there were a number of things which held up the publication. I’m going to turn one of those things into a teaching moment. Every CD, DVD and Book Review on this site includes a purchase link. These links, found on the first mention of the item’s title, will link you to a website where the item can be purchased. The link could lead to a store like Amazon or CD Baby, an artist website, or (sometime in the future) an independent store with consigned copies of the item (earmarked for sale to JHO readers). Regardless of where the link leads, it is an essential part of the review—why should I praise a new book or disc if you can’t buy it?—and I won’t publish reviews without them. I chose new CDs for review three weeks ago, and four of my proposed discs were not available for sale anywhere on the web! As a result, two of those four albums are still sitting on the review pile. So, if you’re an artist or publicist submitting items for possible review, please be sure to have a purchase (or pre-order) link in place before sending the item. If you’re a reader, please use the purchase links to support the artists. And before anyone asks, I do not make any money from items purchased through JHO links.
Traveling is the necessary evil for most working jazz musicians, and many young musicians are unprepared for multi-city tours. Elisabeth Lohninger has just published a marvelous book, “Singer’s Survival Guide to Touring” and despite the title, there’s plenty of helpful advice for instrumentalists. You can learn more in the Book Review section. Speaking of touring, Cyrille Aimée came through Denver a couple of weeks ago, performing her new collection of Stephen Sondheim songs at the Soiled Dove. I covered the performance for the Concert Review section.
This issue’s Retro Review covers two CDs by artists at different stages in their careers. Lisa Rich’s career was on the upswing when severe back problems sidelined her career. Her album “Highwire” was recorded in 1987, but is just being released now. On the other hand, Betty Carter was flying high when she performed a 1992 career retrospective at Jazz at Lincoln Center called “The Music Never Ends”. The concert recording has just been issued in J@LC’s label, Blue Engine. The Vocal CD Reviews feature Claire Martin, Judy Wexler, Rosana Eckert and Hilary Gardner as they explore music outside of the Great American Songbook. All of the discs in our Instrumental CD Reviews are led by bassists Jay Anderson, Mark Dresser and Linda May Han Oh, and all are focused on original compositions.
Finally, in celebration of the upcoming Summer equinox, I’ve pulled an old article (never before published on JHO) discussing 17 recordings of George Gershwin’s “Summertime”. The article includes embedded YouTube clips of the selected recordings. Now that JHO is fully A/V compatible on mobile devices, I plan to resurrect several of these articles, including a Django Reinhardt collection which will appear in our next issue.
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Our 8th anniversary issue will publish July 19—come Hell or high blood pressure!