Hey everybody, my name is Blaine Fallis. I used to write for About.com as their Jazz Guide and later their Contemporary Jazz Guide, or whatever they decided to call it at the time. That went on 4 years. Later I edited for AllAboutJazz and wrote occasional articles and reviews there.
I also ran modernjazz.com for awhile and had a few writers helping me out here, but decided to put that project on hold in order to focus on business. Then something happened last year.
Our friends lost a baby, and it was a very tough time for them, and we drove the 60 miles down to their place as often as we could to hang out. Each time they did they loved putting on their Apple TV to the Jazz channel, which was playing Best of 2013 Jazz, a playlist I can no longer get my hands on. I became very excited again as I listened and realized that hey, these are pretty much the same artists I used to write about! And our friends enjoyed my getting excited about the music and sharing stories. I even mention this in a recent review I wrote for AAJ about Chris McNulty’s album Eternal, which pays tribute to Sam, her son who passed away at age 30.
But what I’d like to do is recreate the feeling of those jazz listening sessions we had, as I hope to bring the excitement of all the artists I featured before when writing about modern jazz. Thanks to the internet boom, that was my full time job for a long while! The bomb followed, but I enjoyed writing about modern jazz every day, and want to revisit that experience on my own site here at modernjazz.com.
It’s not always easy. I was trying to remember an artist I often featured and loved, but her name had escaped me. That was perhaps the cool thing about that Apple TV playlist is that it jogged my memory about some of the artists, mostly unknown cats, who I already knew about having written about them before.
For example today I was trying to remember a female pianist whose music I love. Name escaped me, but here’s how I found it: I knew a couple of the sidemen she had worked with, and did an allmusic search on their names and clicked the Credits tab. That’s an amazing way to research jazz, and build up your knowledge of who’s played with whom.
In the end I did find the artist I was looking for, Myra Melford. Her music had always fascinated me and deserves to be shared.
You may notice a couple of Joel Harrison titles on that Cuong Vu credits list, whose Spirit House I recently reviewed for AAJ as well.
So Myra Melford, wow. One of many artists I plan to feature here at modernjazz.com. A consummate creative spirit who by the way loves to use bass players who are perhaps not the most well known, but sound inventive and different. I always loved that about Myra, her willingness to use bass to uplift her music. Because her piano playing is enough, right? Wonderful. But once she adds bass and drums, now we have something else. Thank you Myra Melford, and stay tuned. She’s one of many I want to share with you.