Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Jazz Hot / Hot Jazz

The French magazine Jazz Hot now has some interviews (Byard Lancaster, Ray Blue) in English, no doubt in an attempt to expand their readership.

Sam Rivers Jazz Hot coverJH is the most blatantly ideological of the three big print jazz magazines in France (the other two being Jazz Magazine and the website-less JazzMan) and their endless pontification (or sometimes more subtle opining) on what jazz is, who does or does not play it, how the institutionalised avant-garde is destroying the music, how the real defenders of jazz are being mercilessly hunted down, etc. is grating. However, there are also interesting interviews with people often ignored by the other mags. JH also has the distinction of not giving their covers over to the most obvious artists (i.e. those releasing heavily-marketed albums that very month). Finally, there is the pleasure of seeing the very artists they so admire contradict their ideology (especially on the teaching of jazz).

Scouring their downloadable Internet Supplement for ">" (branding sans distinction, or without merit) reviews is a monthly source of amusement: albums are lambasted for not being jazz, for taking jazz in the wrong direction, for being sure proof that the meaning of jazz has been lost in these modern times and the occasional completely off-the-wall rant. Their yearly downloadable CD Special was a real treat, in that respect. Maybe I should dig up and translate choice excerpts at regular intervals.