Although researching and writing Pen & Sword is pretty much an all-consuming project these days, I wasn’t able to resist when an opportunity to keep my hand in as a jazz journalist presented itself in 2011. In the course of delivering a presentation on Warrior of God at the Czech Center New York, I was able to meet my second cousin Erik Spooner for the first time. Among other things, Erik is design director for “Elmore,” a bi-monthly music magazine founded by Suzanne Cadgene and Arnie Goodman that began publication in June ’05.

The only national music magazine that guarantees distribution at music and arts festival across the US and Canada, Elmore puts today’s musical talent in historical context, focusing on a variety of genres of American “roots” music. “Our mission is to preserve and protect those American roots that we perceive are worthwhile,” says Suzanne. “Most American music started with the blues. It’s got elements of blues and jazz in just about everything that we cover.”

 And jazz, of course, is where I fit in. When I mentioned the reviews I’ve done for “All About Jazz,” Erik suggested that Elmore‘s stable of reviewers could use another jazz buff. So, every couple months, along with my newest colleagues,  I’m sent a list of new CD’s to look over for consideration. For my first two choices, I selected recordings, not exactly new, by two pianists who had a huge impact on the development of my own roots as jazz aficionado.

My first review, in the September/October  2011 issue, was The Definitive Bill Evans on Riverside and Fantasy. This extensive compilation samples from twenty-three recordings Evans made with those two labels between 1956 and 1977.

For the January/February 2012 issue , I reviewed the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s Their Last Time Out, a previously unreleased live recording of the DBQ’s final concert in Pittsburgh in 1967.

In May 2012, Elmore’s Web site carried my review of recent DVD titled Morocco Fantasia by guitarist Al Di Meola, whom I’ve seen perform back in the days when he was playing with Chick Corea’s ‘Return to Forever’ fusion quartet. A spectacular musician, Di Meola has gone a long way since then, down a road that only some will find congenial.

Suzanne has mentioned the possibility of writing a feature story for the magazine some day, which I greatly appreciate. If presented, I’d welcome the opportunity.