In case you haven't yet picked up the new edition of Jazz Journal International, you may not know that the long running magazine has recently merged with Jazz Review. In a crowded market place this makes sense, and given its outstanding longevity and worldwide reputation it also makes sense that JJI should be the dominant partner in the merger.
I hope that something of Jazz Review's probing outlook is retained, and am confident that editor Mark Gilbert is the man to ensure that it does. JJI has a reputation as a mainstream bastion with very few concessions to post bop music, but Mark has consistently championed the contemporary scene and he should be able to provide the right balance.
I cancelled my subscription to JJI in the late '80s with a letter of exasperation pointing to the lack of contemporary coverage, but I can't underestimate the influence the magazine had on me as I found my way around this sometimes daunting and formidable body of historical and living music. I still respect its role in opening my ears to a lot of great artists and recordings, and its scholarly and reverential approach to this great music has never been in doubt.
So, irony of ironies, I now find myself with reviews published in the May edition of a magazine that I once indignantly cancelled a subscription to. Just as well I've mellowed in the last 20 years and now have a more inclusive outlook. Here's hoping I can be part of an exciting new future for a great old institution...