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Finding the Jazz Beyond Jazz . . . in a blog

As you can see by the number, I don't add jazz blogs to my links willy-nilly. While there are a lot of them out there, the good ones are harder to come by.  Another one of the Arts Journal weblogs has caught my eye. I have been reading Doug Ramsey's RiffTides for awhile. A little closer to home (in N.Y.C. and written by Howard Mandel, a Chicago-born and New York-based writer, editor, author, arts producer for National Public Radio as well as president of the Jazz Journalists Association.), I've added Jazz Beyond Jazz to my feed reader.  His first post, excerpted below, tells you a lot about where he's heading and why I'm adding him:

What if there's more to jazz than you suppose? What if jazz demolishes suppositions and breaks all bounds? What if jazz - and the jazz beyond, behind, under and around jazz - could enrich your life?

What if jazz is the subtle, insightful, stylish, soulful, substantive guide to successful navigation of today's big and little challenges? What if jazz is more than a tune in the background, the cult of the cool, an old hipster cliché - but rather a window on and mirror reflecting society as understood by artists who regard individuality, originality, innovation, integrity, virtuosity, collaborative skills and community concerns as essentials, fundamentals? What if jazz is an infallible bs. detector and transmitter, as immediate as the Internet, of beauty and truth?

Jazz Beyond Jazz is of the mind that jazz as we know it is fine, but what's happening right now - and escaping most notice -- is jazz beyond jazz.

So far, the twelve posts he's done reflect the catchline of the blog—they are a "freelance urban improvisation" ranging from selected his thoughts on the recently released box set of Miles Davis's The Complete On the Corner Sessions, to a much deserved dig at Keith Jarrett's recent meltdown at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. I'm happy to see another jazz journalist join the blogosphere.  Let's see where Mandel's further explorations take him....

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.


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