alex smyo portraitThank you for visiting my website.

I am a jazz writer, improviser, trombonist, and scholar currently based in Santiago, Chile. To read more about me, feel free to check out this page: About Alex.

This website started in 2009 as my personal blog, Lubricity. Since then, I have written mostly about jazz and related creative improvised music here, and also posted links to the many pieces that I have written elsewhere on the internet. Even though updates are much less frequent these days, Lubricity lives on—click the Lubricity tab to read all posts, or filter them by category on the left sidebar.

Here’s what I wrote about Lubricity when I started the blog:

Lubricity is the quality of shiftiness or slipperiness, the ability to resist definition, and the capacity for reducing tension.  To me, it’s a perfect descriptor for jazz as it lives in our world today.

It’s also a tribute to the bebop musicians like Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk who had a fascination with obscure multisyllabic words like “Epistrophy” and “Ornithology”.  Finally, it’s a tip of the hat to my instrument, the trombone, which requires a lubricious slide in order to be played effectively.

Join me in discussing the definition-resistant musical tradition we call jazz through my perspective as a young trombonist and aspiring jazz historian.

Every once in awhile, I post a question and ask readers to respond in the comments. Visit the Jazz Questions page to add your answers.

In order to help myself better understand the global scope of jazz today, I have begun to work with a mapping program called Story Maps to represent it digitally. Check out the Jazz Maps page to see what I’ve come up with so far.

If you’d like to be in touch with me, I can be reached by e-mail at alex.w.rodriguez@gmail.com — if you would like to send CDs for review or other promotional materials, please e-mail me for a physical address.

5 Responses to Welcome!

  1. Can you please provide us with a contact and mailing address for servicing new releases for review consideration for new music box.. Thanks chris

  2. Would you be interested in commenting new CDs in my radio program, which is broadcast daily in Chile? Perhaps once a month?


  3. Hi Alex,

    I was just perusing your website and noticed you were a student of Lewis Porter. I am a rising senior at McGill, but had the honor of studying with him this summer in a selected topics master’s class in Newark. It was great fun. Good to see there are those out there who have gone through the program.



  4. Hello,

    We are contacting you in the hopes that you will be interested in our documentary film project about Charles Mingus. It is a special project which is in the early stages of development and needs help with fundraising. You, as a Jazz enthusiast, could be of particular assistance in our cause. Below you will find more information about both our project and our fundraising campaign. We do hope that you will read the information with interest and care.

    We are Orangethenblue, a creative team formed to develop and promote the relationship of film and music through performance. Based between Berlin and New York City, Orangethenblue is built upon a strong vision and outlook to support and realize innovative films that leave an indelible mark on audiences. We are currently filming a documentary on Charles Mingus directed by his grandson and Orangethenblue founder Kevin Ellington Mingus entitled “Mingus on Mingus”. We are at the beginning of the production phase and are currently conducting interviews of people that knew and played with Charles Mingus.

    We are in the final days of an ambitious fund-raising campaign through the Kickstarter platform. Our Kickstarter campaign has only five days left to reach our goal, and every contribution matters. We have a big challenge ahead of us, and we would like to be able to count on your help. “Mingus on Mingus” is a grassroots project whose independence relies on the true jazz tradition of the collective. It has been through those dedicated to the art forms of jazz and independent film that the project has been, and will continue, to grow. A successful Kickstarter campaign means we will be able to move forward with the project and capture essential, time sensitive moments that we might otherwise loose. The making of the documentary will certainly be a long road, and having the financial resources to begin our journey is crucial. We know it will not be possible without your help and support. Orangethenblue asks for your support not only through making a donation to our Kickstarter, but also in reaching out to the jazz and film communities by featuring information about our project in your blog, twitter, Facebook, and mailing list and linking or embedding our small trailer for our fundraising campaign.

    This is the short link to the Kickstarter page where you find the video:

    Alternatively, you can embed the video directly from our Kickstarter page or if you prefer to link an image, the main page of our site has a PNG that will work. You are welcome to use any other elements from our website:www.orangethenblue.com and if you need any additional material, please feel free to contact us at any point.

    Thank you for you help!

    All our best,

    Valeria Rios & Kevin Ellington Mingus

  5. Pingback: MT-Headed Blog » Blog Archive » Digital Music Battle Royale: Reax & Roundup

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