Happy New Year – JazzLocal32.com


Thanks to everyone who reads and visits JazzLocal32.com and particularly the musicians and Jazz lovers who let me into their lives, many of whom are close friends.

Improvised music is a profound manifestation of the human condition and a loadstone to guide us on. It tells us that we can reach beyond the known and touch an illusive world of new possibilities; but only if we adjust our perspective.

It is the job of musicians, writers, visual artists and poets to challenge, interpret and shock. Jazz musicians understand this better than many Jazz fans. Life can be stunningly beautiful and ordered but profound realisations can also arise from discord. These conditions are not separate but co-dependent refractions from life’s experience.

I dedicate this post to the musical risk takers who ride currents that we cannot see but which we experience through them.

Early Jazz confounded listeners as it was unknown to them. Swing took ten years to replace two beat Jazz and beBop ten years to displace the later. Jazz does not stand still anymore than life does. It is not a museum.

Whether we listen to avant-garde, fusion, funk, swing or post bop it comes from the same restless explorations if played with integrity. My wish for everyone who enjoys this music is that they will become more adventurous.

The Creative Jazz Club in Auckland has a genius for expanding our horizons and by feeding club goers a varied diet it stretches our ears. We don’t have to like everything we hear but we should be respectful of the act of creation.


I am writing this from one of the great Jazz cities of the world (San Francisco) and Jazz is deep in the DNA of this place. On New Year’s Eve there were a lot of unimaginative ear splitting DJ events but Jazz coexisted and held its ground.

To paraphrase John Zorn there are blocks of sound everywhere – it just needs someone to interpret and arrange them. No manifestation of sound is invalid. The musicians do the rest and we are an integral part of the result.

We are all poets and musicians in our way if we stretch out observe and above all listen with fresh ears.

I was in a nice eatery two nights ago and a fine musician Terrance Brewer was playing smoking Jazz guitar. In the first break I went up and told him how much I had enjoyed the group and his playing. Next break he came and spoke with us – giving me two of his CDs as gifts.

The Jazz community is truly a universal family and because I listened and acknowledged the music we connected as kindred spirits.

Happy new year to my jazz family – I love you all.

listen LISTEN

Written on the road from the wonderful liberal San Francisco ( as a guide book said – Republicans and the unhip risk being run out of town).

John Fenton

PS – I now own the domain name JazzLocal32.com


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