– Discs and Discoveries –
To the Editor:
Your May issue got me to listen to Bria Skonberg and Andy Schumm—both for the first, but certainly not the last, time. While your front-page article makes her sound like a trumpet sensation, I was pleasantly surprised to discover she is an equally great vocalist. (Or is there another Bria Skonberg?) Like Schumm, she belongs to the cool school of revivalists. I couldn’t help thinking there was a bit of both Bix and Chet listening to songs like “Thinking Out Loud.” I also felt like I was in New Orleans. “Time To Go” belongs on a Blue Note album of the late 1950s or early 1960s. And may I say her version of John Lennon’s “Julia” would bring tears to the composer’s eyes.
Schumm really sounds like a reincarnation of Bix and his album with Louie reincarnate Enrico Tomasso, “When Louis Met Bix,” is splendid in its imaginings of duets between these giants. “Ol’ Man River” is Bix down to the rips. I plan on buying “Futuristic Rhythms” as soon as my budget permits. Anyway, I’m drowning in a first flood of delights from these musicians. Thanks for pointing me—again—in the right direction.
I am deeply grateful that more people are discovering the music of these magnificent artists—and that we have been the catalyst for that discovery! – Ed.
– Kind Praise from Maine –
To the Editor:
My husband said I should be sure to tell you how much we enjoy the paper. We discovered it at the San Diego Jazz Festival—there was an exhibitor table with free copies when we attended, back in 2014 (it was The American Rag then). We’re in our mid 40s—I don’t know if that makes us young jazz fans or just average-aged jazz fans—and living in downeast Maine. There’s not a lot going on for traditional jazz up here that we can find, so The Syncopated Times is definitely our lifeline to what’s going on the world of jazz. Your column and the Jazz Birthday of the Month are the first two things we read.
We read every issue cover to cover (including the lineup for every festival listed in the Festival Roundup) and even read the ads (we’ve bought many of the books reviewed and advertised, and we’ve been checking out Jazz Fest at Sea and Jazzdagen cruises in the hopes of taking a jazz cruise in the near future). Thank you so much for all the work you and all the columnists/contributors put in every month. It’s reflected in the comprehensiveness, depth, freshness, and variety of material every month.
My husband is a big jazz fan and has read extensively about jazz (both the history of the music and biographies of individual musicians) but he always learns something new every month, and we both love learning about and feeling connected to living/current jazz musicians/performers as well. You do a wonderful job of balancing both the past and the future of traditional jazz in one publication. Thank you for all that you do!
Stockton Springs, ME
Thank you so much for your kind testimonial! – Ed.
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