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Article

Steve Smith

(Marc )

(b Chicago, Dec 26, 1950). American writer. He learned piano and flute as a child and pursued his formal education at Syracuse University (1970–72), Mills College (1972), and Roosevelt College (1973–5); he also studied boogie-woogie, swing, and blues piano with leading players in Chicago. In 1975 he embarked on his writing career, working for Down Beat (as associate editor, 1978–81), The Wire, Musical America, Tower Pulse!, the Village Voice, the Washington Post, Billboard, the New York Times Book Review, and Jazziz. He contributed scripts for jazz shows on NPR and held editorial positions at Guitar World (1982–3), Ear (1987–92), the JVC Jazz Festival program guide published by Tower Pulse! (from 1994), and Rhythm Music (1996–7). Mandel was a founder of the Jazz Journalists’ Association: in 1992 he became its president and in 1997 editor of its website, ...

Article

Brian Priestley

(John )

(b Camborne, England, April 17, 1920; d London, Oct 3, 1987). English writer. He became interested in jazz in the mid-1930s and established contact with record collectors such as Max Jones, Charles Fox, and Leonard Hibbs. In 1942 McCarthy and Jones founded the Jazz Sociological Society and became the editors of its journal, Jazz Music; from 1944 to 1946, to circumvent wartime rationing of paper, the journal was temporarily discontinued and instead a series of separate booklets entitled Jazz Music Books was issued. McCarthy then edited the short-lived Jazz Forum: Quarterly Review of Jazz and Literature (1946–7), and, with Dave Carey, compiled six volumes of a discography of jazz. From 1955 to 1972 he was editor of the influential periodical Jazz Monthly, which, in addition to its catholic coverage of jazz and blues, also included items on related topics such as the record industry; in March 1971...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(David )

(b Toronto, Nov 6, 1951). Canadian writer and photographer. He studied at York University in Toronto (BFA 1973) and worked as a contributor to Coda (1973–6, 1988), DownBeat (as its Toronto correspondent, 1975–92), and Jazz Forum (as its Canadian correspondent, 1977–90), as well as writing on jazz for other periodicals; in 1978 he became the jazz critic for the Toronto Globe and Mail. Having served as a subject editor on jazz and English-language popular music for the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (1981), he was one of its associate editors for the second edition (1992). Miller has also written liner notes, notably providing the overview and notes for Radio Canada International’s Anthology of Canadian Jazz (1991), and has published many of his photographs of jazz musicians. Throughout his career he has concentrated on jazz musicians and the development of jazz in Canada, and he is the author of two collections of biographical essays and a history of the early years of jazz in Canada....

Article

Paula Morgan

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Michael)

(b Munich, Oct 24, 1929). American writer. He grew up in Vienna, but left in 1938 and spent the next nine years as a refugee in Denmark and Sweden. After moving to the USA in 1947 he studied history at Brandeis University (1953–6). From 1958 to 1961 he was the New York correspondent for Jazz Journal. He then served as editor of Metronome (1961), Jazz (1962–3), and Down Beat (New York editor, 1964–6, editor 1966–73) magazines; during the 1960s he also produced jazz concerts in New York and for television. In the mid-1970s he held appointments as visiting lecturer in jazz at Brooklyn College and the Peabody Institute, and in 1976 he became director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers, in which capacity he has worked as an editor of the Journal of Jazz Studies (from 1982 the Annual Review of Jazz Studies...

Article

Daniel Zager

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Robert (D.) ]

(b New York, c1945). American writer. He studied clarinet and drums and played drums in workshops with Jaki Byard (1968–71) and Cedar Walton (1972). In the 1960s and 1970s he wrote for American and European periodicals, including Down Beat, Jazz Journal, and Jazz Forum, and in 1975 he began publishing the monthly magazine Cadence, which in the following years printed many wide-ranging interviews with jazz and blues musicians and reviews of recordings. Later he formed Cadence Jazz Records (1980), which by the late 1990s had issued more than 100 recordings; North Country Record Distribution (1983), which distributes the jazz and blues recordings of more than 900 small independent labels; Cadence Jazz Books (1992), which publishes reference books, histories, and discographies; and CIMP (1996), for which he had produced about 100 recordings by the turn of the century. He donated his extensive indexed collection of books and journals, covering jazz and blues literature in the English language, to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library (...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b New York, Oct 31, 1950). American writer. After studying music at CUNY and at the guitar center of the New School for Social Research he worked as an editor, feature writer, and columnist for the periodical of Tower Records, Pulse (1983–91), and contributed numerous articles to Down Beat (1984–93). While serving as a music critic for The Nation (from 1986) he was a columnist for 7 Days (1987–9) and Taxi (1988–90); he then wrote essays for Atlantic Monthly and taught at CCNY (both from 1991). As both a music critic and a feature writer he has contributed to the New York Post (1988–90), the New York Daily News (from 1993), and Fi (1996–9), and he has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and Musician...

Article

Mark Miller

[William Ernest ]

(b Bristol, England, May 12, 1938). Canadian writer, editor, saxophonist, and clarinetist of English birth. He studied aeronautical design and played drums and trumpet in England before moving to Toronto in 1963. He immediately became art director of Coda magazine, and rose to the position of co-publisher with John Norris in 1967; he succeeded Norris as editor in 1976. He was also co-founder with Norris of Sackville in 1968. Having taken up saxophone and clarinet in Toronto, he developed a modest, conversational style and began performing in freely improvised settings in the mid-1970s, first with the pianist Stuart Broomer, then with the Bill Smith Ensemble (1980–89) and as the sopranino saxophonist in Zes Winden (1986–8). He moved the editorial offices of Coda to Hornby Island, northwest of Vancouver, in 1989 and thereafter played saxophone and drums locally. (The magazine's business office remains in Toronto, under Norris.) The Smith Ensemble (David Prentice, violin; David Lee, double bass) recorded both as a trio and with guests Leo Smith (...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Boston, MA, May 10, 1937). American music critic, publicist, and editor. Solomon is best known for her contributions to the Village Voice, but has also written for Down Beat, Country Music, Hit Parader, the News World, and Us. She was one of the first women involved in popular music criticism; her work focused on folk music of the 1960s, jazz, blues, rock, and country music. Solomon’s column in the Village Voice was called “Riffs.” She also served as editor for the magazine ABC-TV Hootenanny (1963–4), which highlighted performers on the television show of the same name who were just beginning to rise to fame, including Judy Collins, Earl Scruggs, and Doc Watson. Other writers whose work appeared in the magazine included Theodore Bikel and Jean Shepard. Another of her important editing positions was on the magazine New Musical Express (NME) in the 1970s. Solomon also had a brief tenure as a publicist for Chess Records, where she produced a number of liner notes. Her commentary on such diverse subjects as J.J. Cale and Paul McCartney has given her voice a lasting impression in the music business....

Article

Mark Berresford

(Coleman )

(b Brunswick, MO, Feb 7, 1882; d New York, NY, March 9, 1961). American clarinetist, bandleader, composer, and music publisher. His first professional engagement (c1897–8) was with a “pickaninny” band led by Nathaniel Clark Smith. In 1902 he was assistant leader of P.G. Lowery’s band with Forepaugh and Sells Circus and later that year joined Mahara’s Minstrels band under the leadership of W.C. Handy. In 1903 he formed his own band in Minneapolis, where he made the first recordings by an African American band. Sweatman moved to Chicago in 1908, where he led trios at the Grand and Monogram theaters. In 1911 he made his first vaudeville appearance, and in late 1916 made the first records recognizable as jazz performances. In 1918 Sweatman’s band was signed to an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, their records rivalling those by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He continued to work through the 1920s and early 1930s in vaudeville, and in ...

Article

Robert Gannon

[Sinc ]

(b Camborne, England, Dec 1904; d Brighton, England, Jan 10, 1981). English writer and editor. After a brief career in banking he began to write about jazz, and with Bill Elliott he developed the feature “Collector’s Corner” for Melody Maker. During World War II he served with the RAF in India, where he produced a program for the radio network of the armed forces, reviewed records for the Forces magazine Victory, and, most significantly, arranged and supervised a series of unaccompanied piano recordings by Teddy Weatherford. He then moved to London, where from 1946 to 1947 he published the magazine Pick Up. He is best known for having edited Jazz Journal (from 1977 known as Jazz Journal International) from May 1948 until his death. As an editor Traill won respect for his taste, tact, fairness, humor, and considerable flamboyance.

(selective list)

ed.: Play that Music: a Guide to Playing Jazz...