In August 1921 one of the most infamous articles of the early jazz era was published in The Ladies Home Journal: Does Jazz Put The Sin In Syncopation? Written by Anne Shaw Faulkner it discusses, and condemns the new phenomenon of jazz. The Ladies Home Journal was a popular US women’s magazine published from 1883-2016. […]

Manuel Bundy Civic Theatre

Many of you may not be aware, but I don’t have an institution supporting my research work, so I’ve been doing this without any resources other than a few grants along the way. However, as you may have noticed with the random frequency of my blog posts, it’s getting harder and harder to sustain research […]

Woman's silhouette with question mark

The one interesting and frustrating thing about researching jazz in New Zealand, particularly looking at the 1920s and early 1930s is seeing how many women led dance bands that played jazz, and how infrequently you can actually find out who they are from press reports and advertising! There was a convention in the press in […]

I’ve just posted a review on my substack of a fabulous, very soon to be released new jazz album from Wellington based saxophonists Jasmine Lovell-Smith and Jake Baxendale, please check it out: https://nzjazz.substack.com/p/sanctuary-jasmine-lovell-smith-and

22/5 NZ Jazz album for today is guitarist Neil Watson and his 2017 album Studies in Tubular: This album was the result of Neil’s Master of Music study. I interviewed Neil and reviewed the album for NZ Musician just before it was released in 2017: https://nzmusician.co.nz/features/neil-watson-constructed-jazz/ https://nzmusician.co.nz/music/neil-watson-tubular/ 23/5 NZ Jazz album for 23 May is Roger […]

22/5 Jazz was a popular concept in advertising. Jazz was used to sell everything from food to floor polish. Woods Great Peppermint cure (containing 50% alcohol) routinely used jazz to promote and sell its over the counter ‘influenza cure’. Waikato Independent 21/5/21 p.4 https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WAIKIN19210521.2.16.5 23/5 The comic opera sensation Marama opened in Dunedin in its latest stop […]

As I hinted at the start of the month, there was a new thing on the horizon: I’ve jumped on the Substack newsletter bandwagon! It’s going to be dedicated to long form reviews of and articles on music from Aotearoa/New Zealand. Now why am I doing that there and not here you might ask? Well […]

15/5 The NZ jazz album of the day is Nathan Haines Squire for Hire. This album highlights Haines’ exploration of the British soul jazz genre, with some twists that are all his own. It’s one of my favourite albums that’s a go to for feel good music: https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/0ZdTIECeIAksKmdSCJaQRC 16/5 Today’s NZ jazz album of the day […]

15/5 Webley Sons and Gofton music store in Dunedin advertised famous dance records on double sided records in strict dance time. Strict dance time sounds impressive, especially on new double sided records, but actually all it means is music with a regular beat and in a good danceable tempo. #nzmusicmonth Evening Star 16/5/21 p.7 https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19210516.2.78.7 […]

8/5 Album of the day, my old jazz piano teacher, Kevin Field with his latest album, Soundtology 9/5 Today’s album is The Jac’s 2014 debut album Nerve. I wrote a review for New Zealand Musician back in 2014, but it sadly doesn’t seem to be online currently. It’s an awesome album though, you should definitely […]