Eric Myers Jazz

work in progress

 

ESSAYS

This section includes essays on various jazz subjects, written by a number of writers. Contributions are welcome. Writers interested in contributing are welcome to contact the editor by filling out the form in the CONTACT tab. Photographs to illustrate those essays are welcome. Readers can click on the INDEX button for a list of articles in this folder.

 
 Fred Parkes in 2002

Fred Parkes in 2002

TRADITIONAL JAZZ IN AUSTRALIA

by Bruce Johnson

Jazz Magazine November/December, 1982

Readers of Jazz Magazine are likely to agree already that jazz in Australia is in an extraordinarily healthy condition when compared with other parts of the world. Sydney, for example, probably has more jazz played in it than any other city outside New York, and if we add the phrase per capita, then it’s likely that no exceptions need be admitted. Of course this is not to say that the kind of jazz that preponderates here is anything like the dominant sound elsewhere. And I’m not talking about the ‘Is there an Australian jazz?’ debate, so much as the fact that most of the jazz played in this country is traditional…

 Peter Rechniewski

Peter Rechniewski

THE CRISIS IN MODERN JAZZ IN AUSTRALIA

by Peter Rechniewski

Jazz Magazine May/June, 1983

It has become commonplace in the last few years to speak of Australian jazz, even modern jazz, as being in a healthy state. We have  witnessed, some claim, a “jazz explosion” — especially in Sydney— which has resulted in an unprecedented number of venues offering musicians opportunities to play, in grants for study trips, in sponsored overseas tours by local bands, recordings, concerts, etc. True, the argument runs, there have been some reverses, like the closure of venues and the collapse of organisations such as the Australian Jazz Foundation, but such things notwithstanding, the current state of jazz can only fill the observer with optimism…

 Bruce Johnson

Bruce Johnson

A RESPONSE TO PETER RECHNIEWSKI

by Bruce Johnson

Jazz Magazine May/June, 1983

Peter Rechniewski sought me out in the Soup Plus and said he wished for me to respond to his article “The Crisis in Modern Jazz in Australia” (JAZZ, May/June 1983). As I read it, it seemed to me that he and I could not be in closer agreement regarding the unfortunate situation of modern jazz in our culture. I noted that traditional jazz has wider appeal to Australian audiences (JAZZ, December 1982), while he spoke of middle-of-the road jazz as having greater “popularity”, more “drawing power”; the implications for modern jazz are the same in both instances. I was therefore surprised to find that Peter should speak of my own speculations in such virulent and confrontational terms as “absurd”, “highly questionable” and, indeed, “false”…