This blog is mainly about Jazz, experimental improvisation, and related topics. I would style this a Webzine or Improvised Music Journal rather than a source of no holds barred critical reviews. To be a good critic a journalist needs to be arm’s length from the scene and I have no intention of changing my proximity. I love this music and value my access to the practitioners. As an insider, there are often unique insights available to me. My primary purpose is to promote local Jazz and improvised music and to provide a contemporary voice for the scene. However, I will always listen with a critical ear. I have expanded the blog to include some improvised world beat, Flamenco, Middle Eastern and improvised Ambient streams. With the merging of streams, you get deeper rivers. Improvised music should never stand still; if it does it becomes a museum exhibit. As musicians reach for new sounds, forms and genres they will inevitably blur the margins.
I am a videographer, photographer & writer and this makes the task at hand both rewarding and difficult.
Since the Blogs inception, it has gained momentum and it now gets above 20,000 hits per annum. While that is modest compared to famous blogs, it has the advantage of a distinct niche. It covers improvised music activity in the South Pacific region. I mainly talk about Auckland Jazz but include a wider New Zealand and Pacific coverage as the opportunity presents its self. The blog has readers from Australia, the USA, and around 20 other countries.
I am not a trained musician but I do understand how music works and I have a good knowledge of Jazz history. Above all, I have open ears and value the innovative over the ordinary. My task is to tell the musicians stories; rendering musical notes into words.
Selected credits: (1) Liner Notes for ‘The Capitol Sessions’ Roger Fox Big Band, on Rattle Jazz. – (2) Photography and liner notes ‘Ace Tone’ Rattle Jazz.- (3) Photography ‘Hip Flask’ Rattle Jazz. – (4) Photography Neil Watson’s ‘Studies in Tubular neilwatsonrecords – (5) Photograph, Stephen Small ‘Slow Drag’ Crown Japan. – (6) Photograph, Doug Lawrence home web page – Liner Notes for ‘Secret Islands’ Jim Langabeer – other credits to be posted
I am a ‘Professional Member’ of the ‘Jazz Journalists Association‘.
My blog ‘JazzLocal32.com’ is a registered domain name
I host an open Facebook group page also titled ‘Jazz Local 32’ and that is available to musicians and Jazz fans alike. It acts as a feeder to the blog. Lastly, there is a YouTube channel covering five years of live local improvised music. It can be found by typing ‘Jazz Local 32‘ into YouTube/Google or John Fenton Jazz into YouTube search.
I am an active member of the CJC (Creative Jazz Club) and syndicated on their web page. I also belong to the NZ Jazz Federation.
Besides reviews and album liner notes, I have performed poetry with music and my photographs are credited on websites in New Zealand, Australia, and in the USA. A collection of Jazz/Beat referencing poetry is a slow work in progress.
Thank you for reading and visiting.
Thanks for the positive and perceptive reviews John. Look forward to catching up soon. Chairs! Mike Nock
John it a pleasure to know you man and I really appreciate your dedication to our art form. You are a true brother and I can’t wait to get back to Auckland – Doug Lawrence – tenor soloist Count Basie Orchestra