Now that we've reached the end of one year and the start of a new one, I figure now is as good a time as any to tie up a few loose ends. In the past couple of months, I've received quite a few emails from new readers asking about JazzWax and how things work.
Here, in a nutshell, are the questions I'm most frequently asked along with the answers:
What is JazzWax? It's a blog where I write about jazz six days a week. I love this music, and my goal is to share my passion for jazz recordings and jazz legends with readers worldwide. The site is written to appeal to novices as well as hard-core jazz fans. From time to time, I jump track and write about Latin-jazz, pop, r&b, disco and soul or any other form of music that interests me.
Who determines what you write about? I alone decide on daily topics, without influence or pressure. I write only about recordings and artists I enjoy most. If a recording is dull, I pass. Many publicists have discovered this the hard way. My hope is that readers will find my choices as exciting as I do, and that my efforts will educate and illuminate. I also hope my taste and perspective will save readers time and money when making CD and download choices, especially if they're unfamiliar with a particular artist.
What's your overall mission? My intent is simply to share my passion for jazz and taste in recordings with anyone who chooses to tune in each day. I'm also determined to preserve as many jazz-legend stories as possible. We are lucky to live in an age when many great artists are still among us. I believe that unless their stories are documented, future generations won't have a sense of who was playing all that great music and how they felt. The Q&A format seems to work best, giving you a chance to read without encountering too much gray type.
Which jazz legends have you interviewed? If you scroll down the right-hand side of JazzWax.com, to "JazzWax Interviews," you'll find the master list. To access an interview, simply click on a blue name. In many cases, each entry has up to five parts.
How can I access the other parts of an interview? At the very top of Part 1 of an interview, you'll see a blue "Part 2" link in parenthesis. Simply click on it, and Part 2 will appear. You can continue along this route until the interview series ends.
What do the Roman numerals mean after the names of artists in your interview list? This just means there are multiple interviews with the same legend. For example, the "Creed Taylor I" link contains Parts 1-4, while the "Creed Taylor II" link features Parts 5-9. Click and explore.
What's the best way to print out a page? Don't simply hit your computer's print button. You'll only run into trouble. Instead, when you see a page you want, go to the bottom of the post. There, you'll see the word "Permalink" in blue. Click on it. When the page comes up, hit your print button. This is the electronic equivalent of tearing out a single page from the JazzWax "book."
How can I search your site? Many people email asking how they can find out whether I've written on a particular musician or topic. The long way is to scroll through the archives. The short way is to type in what you're looking for in the search engine atop the right-hand column. Just be sure that "JazzWax" is checked, not the "Web."
Where else does your content appear? JazzWax is syndicated on the home page of JAZZ.FM91 under an agreement between JazzWax and Canada's leading nonprofit radio station in Toronto. From time to time, JazzWax also is picked up by Jazz.com and All About Jazz at the discretion of those sites' editors and publishers, and by permission.
Can I subscribe to JazzWax? Yes, and it's free. In the right-hand side, toward the top, you'll see "Subscribe for Free." You have two choices:
1. If you have already set up a customized Google or Yahoo home page, the "Subscribe" button will put the current day's headline and previous ones on your home page with easy links. Then you just click to access.
2. Or you can provide your email address in the box, and an email of the previous day's column will be delivered to you. Your email isn't used for anything but providing you with a copy of JazzWax.
Why does the email version come a day late? I have no idea. I suspect it's done that way because the company that handles this needs time to bundle it up. If you prefer to have the current day's content, choose option No. 1 mentioned above. Or simply bookmark JazzWax.com.
Do you appear on the radio? Yes, from time to time I host "JazzWax with Marc Myers," a two-hour program on Jazz.FM91, featuring rare music from my collection and anecdotes from my artist interviews. You can listen to these shows over the web on your computer. I often announce when these shows will air in my weekly roundup, "Sunday Wax Bits."
Happy New Year to JazzWax readers throughout the world! May 2009 bring you peace, jazz and good fortune.
And starting on Monday, Part 1 of my interview with legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb.