Having discovered jazz as a teenager, I played the clarinet, not very well, in a school band. I began writing and reviewing for Jazz Monthly magazine in the late 1950s and continued on and off until it folded. In the mid-1960s I started reviewing jazz gigs for The Guardian newspaper, a job that lasted about 30 years and eventually included record reviews. I was then asked by Richard Cook to join his new magazine, Jazz Review, and have carried on since it merged with Jazz Journal. I also wrote for Jazz Express, Jazz the Magazine and Jazz on CD, while among work for non-specialist publications were record reviews for Tribune and, later, a handful of articles for the The Economist. I contributed to several books, beginning with Jazz on Record and Modern Jazz - The Essential Records and subsequently including Jazz Now, Masters of Jazz Saxophone and Rough Guide’s Jazz - 100 Essential CDs. I edited and wrote much of the copiously illustrated coffee-table tome Jazz - The Ultimate Guide.
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