Jazz 101: Jazz on the Internet


Today we’ve got one last discussion to get through of John Szwed’s “Jazz 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Jazz“. This is the last one. For real this time.

Last week, we started going through the appendices of John Szwed’s book, because I am nothing if not thorough. We looked at the somewhat niche topic of jazz singing, and also discussed a few of the more notable singers throughout the history of jazz.

And today we come to the final chapter. Well, not literally. But the last chapter is a just a list of notable jazz records that didn’t make it into earlier sections of the book. That, as well as a list of movies that represent jazz. Not really what we’re looking to discuss.

So, without further ado, let’s finally bring our discussion to the contemporary. We’ve seen the history of jazz, traced its twists and turns. Now let’s look at the influence that the internet has had on jazz, and vice versa.

Jazz on the Internet

The internet changed the world of jazz in much the same way that it changed everything else, as a connector and a compiler of information. A practically boundless resource that can hold and deliver the history of jazz in all of its iterations and sub genres.

While I mentioned earlier that this would be our last discussion, it’s going to be a bit different than the earlier articles we’ve covered. The main difference you’ll notice, is that this last article will be less of a discussion, and more of a roundup of helpful and informative links. Seeing as we’re closing up this series, it seemed only right that we include some additional resources for those interested.

To be fair, some of this information may not be entirely necessary to include. We all know how to use Google today, after all. But, in an effort to save any new, interested jazz fans out there, it seems like the least we can do is save you a little time in your search.

John Szwed’s Recommended Resources

So, assuming you’re still interested in expanding your knowledge of the jazz world, you may be wondering where to begin. For the newly converted jazz fans, Szwed recommends starting with Northwestern University’s WNUR-FM site. While the original site through Northwestern has changed, their new page should still work as a decent resource. You should be able to find musician biographies, discographies, interviews, and more.

Since Szwed’s book is somewhat dated (having been released in nearly ten years ago), not all of these resources will be what they were upon its publication.

One thing Szwed does posit, is that some of the most interesting sites out there are ones devoted to particular cities. The Jazz Institute of Chicago is perhaps one of the better known ones, which Szwed also recommends as a solid resource.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Just like Chicago, here in Indy, we have a pretty strong jazz community. If you’re in the Indianapolis area, and looking for more information on the local jazz scene, you can head over to the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation. Jazz Fest 2019 is coming up, after all.

Alternatively, if you like listening to jazz, but couldn’t care less about reading its history, there are plenty of good jazz venues in Indianapolis where you can hear some great music. The Jazz Kitchen is one of those, and our top recommendation if you’re looking for a good meal, good atmosphere, and stellar music.

Now that we’ve finished this series, we’ll be picking up a new one next week. Feel free to leave any suggestions if you have a strong opinion on what you’d like to see covered. If it’s more jazz, great. If it’s something on the other end of the spectrum, also great. Hope you all enjoyed the series. See you next week.



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