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Most Influential Jazz Writers Today


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This is intended to be an open discussion NOT about who your favorite jazz writers/journalists/authors are, but RATHER who you believe are the most influential jazz writers out there today (for better or for worse)? It can be the local newspaper guy or it can be an internationally recognized jazz scholar....

Sure there are obvious choices and honestly it really depends where you live and how much you know about the publications that are out there (both hard copy and web). I am especially curious to know from our European, South American, and other non-US members, who they look to or more appropriately whose voices are reaching them overseas and making an impact on what the general public thinks or knows about jazz?

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Oprah. If you can get featured on her show, it's probably good for 50,000+ copies B-)

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I don't think there are any jazz writers with that kind of clout.

Ben Ratliff at the New York Times has managed to turn a traditionally influential post into an irrelevancy.

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You know, since the Internet took off -- I really haven't been reading a regular Jazz mag like I used to 10, 15 years ago. I pick up Downbeat every now and then, and maybe flip through Jazz Times and the other one (I forget the name, the other jazz glossy). So, I'm not so sure that actual "published" jazz writers have near the influence they maybe used to have.

And frankly, the jazz writers that have the biggest influence on me are people like Sangry, and Chuck, and a good handful of the other people I read here on this board.

I'm not saying the people here have the "big-numbers" influence, but I reckon the "big numbers" influence people are probably influencing much fewer numbers these days.

And hell, maybe whoever writes the most jazz reviews for the AMG -- they might be a HUGE influence as well. And if that's true, then probably Scott Yanow is as "influential" as anybody.

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I'm going to remain above the fray here, Dan - let's keep our personal things outside -

What's "personal", Allen?

You made a blanket statement as if it were self-evident and I asked for reasons. Its how a bulletin board works. Do you assume I'm going to go ballistic? All I asked for are reasons why we need god's help if Yanow is the most influential writer.

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well, not exactly, Dan , as you managed to throw in a jab at me related to a post in an entirely different thread; Yanow knows a little bit but not enough, is shallow in his historical analysis, and takes such a generalist approach to jazz history as to make his books virtually worthless. Just my opinion.

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You know, since the Internet took off -- I really haven't been reading a regular Jazz mag like I used to 10, 15 years ago. I pick up Downbeat every now and then, and maybe flip through Jazz Times and the other one (I forget the name, the other jazz glossy). So, I'm not so sure that actual "published" jazz writers have near the influence they maybe used to have.

And frankly, the jazz writers that have the biggest influence on me are people like Sangry, and Chuck, and a good handful of the other people I read here on this board.

I'm not saying the people here have the "big-numbers" influence, but I reckon the "big numbers" influence people are probably influencing much fewer numbers these days.

And hell, maybe whoever writes the most jazz reviews for the AMG -- they might be a HUGE influence as well. And if that's true, then probably Scott Yanow is as "influential" as anybody.

Yes, the forms and means of influence have changed, moving away from print culture to the Internet and other electronic media-- hence my crack about Oprah, or Rooster's comment about Yanow. Yanow will probably be read by more potential music buyers than most other critics.

If one is talking about intellectual influence, writers past and present like Andre Hodeir, Martin Williams, John Litweiler, Nat Hentoff and Larry Kart will continue to influence thinking on jazz.

BTW, I would venture to say that this Board influences a significant portion of the jazz "market." A BBS like this is really an interesting development and phenomenon in itself.

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