The Buzz: The JJA Podcast

The Buzz: The JJA Podcast

The Jazz Journalists Association is a membership organization founded in 1986. We promote the creation and dissemination of accurate, ethical, informed journalism on all jazz’s genres, and encourage innovative use of media to spur the growth, development and education of audiences for jazz. Public programs include Seeing Jazz Photography Master Classes, The Buzz podcast, celebrations of Jazz Heroes and Jazz Awards, and the website JJANews.org. Theme "Big Vic" composed by John Michaels Featuring Makaya McCraven Geoff Vidaland Mark Dunlap recorded by Doug Hewitt. Podcast edited by Wiz Petta.

Episodes

May 12, 2024 17 mins

Dutch scholar Walter van de Leur is the author of Jazz and Death: Reception, Rituals, and Representations, a fascinating study that enlightens  the music from a unique angle. Fiona Ross, member of the Jazz Journalists Association's Book Committee, interviews Walter, touching on New Orleans funerals, Chet Baker, and the rumor that jazz itself is dead. 

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Aaron Cohen is co-author of Gentleman of Jazz, the autobiography of pianist Ramsey Lewis, nominated for a Book of the Year award in the 29th annual JJA Jazz Awards. He speaks with Brad Stone. 

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Philip Arneill is a Belfast-born photographer, long resident of Japan now living in Ireland. He discusses Tokyo Jazz Joints, his revealing photobook of a now-fading subculture, with Brad Stone, who himself visited some of these listening cafes.

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Brad Stone speaks with Carmen Fields, Emmy Award-winning Boston television news anchor and author of a book about her father's long-touring jazz show, Going Back to T'Town: The Ernie Fields Territory Big Band

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Con Chapman is author of "Kansas City Jazz: A Little Evil Will Do You Good," a nominee for Book of the Year in the 2024 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards. He speaks with Bob Blumenthal, chair of the Book Awards committee and board member of the JJA. 

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Easily Slip Into Another World is Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/reeds and winds instrumentalist/bandleader Henry Threadgill's vivid autobiography, co-authored by Brent Hayes Edwards, a literary scholar teaching at Columbia University. Edwards is interviewed by JJA board member Bob Blumenthal, chair of the nominating committee for JJA Jazz Books of the Year. 

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Rhythm Man: Chick Webb and the Beat That Changed America is an in-depth look at  highly influential and popular, 'til now under-celebrated bandleader, by Ms. Crease, whose prior books are lively portraits of Duke Ellington and Gil Evans. Bob Blumenthal, critic, author (Saxophone Colossus: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins)  chairs the Jazz Journalists Association's Book Awards committee.

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In an episode of The Buzz interviews with authors of 2024 nominees for Book of the Year Awards,  Los Angeles-based Steve Isoardi, author of The Dark Tree about pianist Horace Tapscotts unique musicians/community organition UGMAA, speaks with Bob Blumenthal, JJA board member and chair of the Book Awards committee.

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The overlapping interests and gulf of approaches between jazz journalism and jazz education is the topic of this episode of The Buzz: The Jazz Journalists Association podcast, featuring Seattle-based writer Paul de Barros, educator-pianist-writer Monika Herzig (formerly of Indiana University, now an academia in Vienna) and professor emeritus/biographer John Szwed. Howard Mandel, JJA president, is the host.

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February 19, 2024 33 mins

Host Michael Ambrosino speaks with music journalists Jordannah Elizabeth, Gene Seymour and educator-pianist-blogger Mark Lomanno about how they conceive and compile end-of-the-year Best lists. 

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January 15, 2024 32 mins

Ed Trefizger of JazzWeek, radio maven Scott Handley formerly with NPR, and Kayonne Riley of WUCF in Orlando discuss the mission and current state of jazz radio with Rick Mitchell, JJA board member and host of the syndicated KBOO broadcast Jazz In the New Millennium 

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Alyn Shipton, Ken Poston and Steve Cerra -- authors, editors and publishers with recent books concerning the late, great baritone saxophonist/composer/arranger Gerry Mulligan -- speak with Rick Mitchell, JJA board member and radio program host, about their works on the complicated, compelling musician.

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Veteran jazz journalists Bill Milkowski, Rick Mitchell and Howard Mandel talk about the first records they bought with their own $ -- decades back -- and how rock played a part in their early listening. Memories! The Buzz editor the Wiz said, unsolicited, "This one was very fun to listen to."

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Bill Milkowski, author of books on Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker Keith Richards and jive as well as hundreds of articles for leading music magazines, discusses his career and how conditions facing freelancers have changed from the 1970s to today. Howard Mandel, president of the JJA, joins the episode towards its end. Rick Mitchell is host.

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How does an interviewer approach their task? Ted Panken, author and journalist with extensive experience from his decades at WKCR (NYC) and Robin Lloyd,  radio host doing interviews more recently on KNKX (Seattle), share tips and stories of their encounters with musicians -- those eager to talk, and those who were reluctant. Host Rick Mitchell, too, adds insights gleaned from years of print and broadcast jazz jouralism. 

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How is the main stream media in Jazz keeping up with the innovations Latin Jazz brings to this unique musical art form?

Master percussionist, educator and activist John Santos, along with trombonist Chris Washburne, author of the book Latin Jazz - The Other Jazz, join The Buzz to explore whether Latin Jazz is "tokenized" by the mainstream media covering Jazz. Hosted by Michael Ambrosino, Jazz journalist and producer of the...

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Latin Jazz has always had a curious relationship with the mainstream Jazz media. Master percussionist, educator and activist John Santos, along with trombonist Chris Washburne, author of the book Latin Jazz - The Other Jazz, join The Buzz to explore whether Latin Jazz is "tokenized" by the mainstream media covering Jazz. Hosted by Michael Ambrosino, Jazz journalist and producer of the audio documentary Los Olvidados, The ...

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After decades as one of the world's leading jazz magazines, JazzTimes was purchased last May by The BeBop Channel, which unceremoniously cancelled all assignments. Staff and writers owed for past work are still waiting to get paid, and the publication has devolved into something unrecognizable.  Host Andrew Gilbert discussed the distressing situation and the larger landscape for covering jazz in-depth with two brilliant collea...

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After decades as one of the world's leading jazz magazines, JazzTimes was purchased last May by The BeBop Channel, which unceremoniously cancelled all assignments. Staff and writers owed for past work are still waiting to get paid, and the publication has devolved into something unrecognizable. I discussed the distressing situation and the larger landscape for covering jazz in-depth with two brilliant colleagues, John Murph an...

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From the JJA's March 26, 2023 online Book Bash, London-based media maven, impetus behind Women in Jazz Media and singer Fiona Ross, a member of the JJA's Book Committee, speaks with authors of two books nominated for 2023 Jazz Awards -- which later were announced winners in their categories!

  • Willard Jenkins, editor of Ain't But a Few of Us: Black Music Writers Tell Their Story
  • Aidan Levy, author of Saxophone Coloss...
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