This blog is about Jazz, experimental improvisation, and related topics. I would style the blog a Webzine or Improvised Music Journal. To be a traditional music critic a journalist needs to be at arm’s length from the scene they review and I have no intention of changing my proximity. I am not convinced that such a critic has any greater insight than a committed embedded observer. I am passionate about this music and I value my access to the practitioners. As an insider, there are often unique insights available to me as I move among the musicians. My primary purpose is to promote and document.
I sometimes include accounts of experimental music, 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. There is nothing new in this.
I am a videographer, photographer, poet & writer.
Since the Blog’s inception, it has gained momentum and it gets above 20,000 hits per annum. While that is modest compared to many offshore Jazz blogs, it has the advantage of operating in a distinct niche. I confine most of my attention to the improvised music of Australasia and the South Pacific. Only occasionally do I stray beyond those boundaries. Central to the blog is the Auckland Jazz scene and the CJC (Creative Jazz Club). The blog is read in New Zealand, Australia, USA, and around 20 other countries.
I am not a trained musician but I understand how music works and I have a sound 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 – Photograph on ‘Blew Note’ album by Greg Crayford – other credits yet 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 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. It is a popular page with an excess of 100,000 views
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.
I perform poetry with music and my photographs are credited on websites in New Zealand, Australia, and the USA.
I am a published poet.
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