Jazz Profiles -- involving two of our own
A Gary Giddins interview
“Opinions are the least interesting aspect of criticism, which must needs represent a larger gestalt, a way of seeing and understanding the world,” acclaimed and accomplished jazz critic Gary Giddins
says in an interview on Jazz Profiles, blog of new JJA member Steven Cerra. “Criticism is as personal a field as singing and, beyond the fact that a lot of practitioners in both fields aren’t particularly good at it, the reasons readers respond favorably to one and not to another are just as personal.”
For 31 years columnist in the Village Voice and now director of the Louis Levy Center for Biography, a National Book Award winner and JJA Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism honoree (among many other plaudits), Manhattan-based Giddins speaks in depth to Cerra about his musical education, writing passions, impressions of artists, theories of what’s happening in jazz today. Giddins has long been a JJA member, and describes the organization as a success “because most of us [jazz journalists] respect each other.”
Cerra has previously reviewed Giddins’ Visions of Jazz on his blog, and written there about the ambitious American Jazz Orchestra Giddins founded with John Lewis in 1985 (it last through the early ’90s, when funding dried up). But his blog’s range is wise — the post after the Giddins piece is an essay about Bunny Berigan, and he’s reviewed Henry Threadgill’s Zooid, too. Cerra began Jazz Profies ion 2007 with two postings, but in 2010 posted 155 pieces, and more every year since.
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