I have been openly critical of Downbeat in this blog in the past and for good reason. I mean how many times do I need to read about Vijay Iyer, Brad Mehldau, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Jason Moran etc etc. I don’t have anything against these musicians, I mean their music does nothing for me but I recognize their ability and musicianship. Because they are perceived as boundary pushers the jazz world is a buzz following their every move and every note and DB is as guilty as any.
Having said that DB deserves some credit. In their last two and in an upcoming issue they have written articles on some straight ahead musicians who have been on the scene and contributing great music before anyone knew the musicians I mentioned earlier even existed. I speak of December’s article on Jim Snidero, January’s issue featuring Gary Smulyan and an upcoming issue featuring Mike LeDonne. All three of these musicians among MANY others deserve cover stories but I realize that will never happen.
Anyways, I continue to subscribe and continue to read and am happy to finally read articles on people that I love, have influenced me and have contributed and continue to contribute to this music.