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Change: not always what you expect

On Monday, I submitted my last column to the Star-Ledger, and with my professional writing career on hold for now, I’m in a bit of a reflective mood. Looking back at my earlier posts, I am reminded of the fun conversations and insightful dialogues that I have been blessed to join over the past two-plus years, and am proud of what I have been able to contribute to the discussion.

When I started this blog in May 2009, I was delighted and surprised by the vibrancy and warmth of the nascent community that seemed to be emerging on the internet to share its love for jazz. NPR’s A Blog Supreme had just started (long before I became an occasional contributor), musician-bloggers like Ethan Iverson, Andrew Durkin and Darcy James Argue were in full force, longtime jazz journalists were bringing their work online, jazz.com supported rich, daily contributions, Nextbop was in its infancy, The Checkout was the new thing in jazz radio, and the exchanges and arguments brimmed with possibility.

But as many frustrated liberal politicos can tell you, change rarely plays out in ways that optimists expect. Still, if there are any lessons that jazz can teach a distraught idealist, it’s that there is beauty in the unexpected, and the pleasures of spontaneity reward the adventuresome. Read the rest of this entry »

Roy Haynes Performs at the Litchfield Jazz Fest

By Alex W. Rodriguez for the Hartford Advocate

Adding a notch to my freelancing belt with this one — thanks to Bill Carbone for the connection, and the opportunity to talk to another one of the music’s legends while in my temporary New England digs. Some quotes that didn’t make the final piece:

“I’ve always been a dreamer – in school I used to daydream, but now I know that every moment is to be cherished.”

“I don’t know what the heck I would have done if I wasn’t playing these drums since I was a teenager.”

“I am a natural born drummer.”

Spiffy header image courtesy of Chris Albertson

It’s been another one of those blog dry-spells the past few months, what with the winding down of my life on the East Coast, gearing up for Los Angeles, and, you know, actually writing for a living every once in awhile. I’ve stopped posting individual links to my weekly Star-Ledger columns, but you Jersey locals can stay hip the scene by subscribing to the Star-Ledger Jazz RSS feed. Some good stuff has passed through recently!

Rather than go back and make separate posts, I’ve included links below to all of the other writing projects that have kept me busy this summer, in the style of STUFF WHAT I HAVE WROTE, the monthly series by one of my favorite citizens of the jazz blogosphere, Phil Freeman: Read the rest of this entry »

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