Once upon a time, the 'jazz blog' was a niche corner of the internet for enthusiasts documenting the gigs they'd attended. Now, they're part of the scene's life-blood and provide far more than a few gig accounts.
Up-and-coming artist features, interviews, recording and gig reviews, project previews and importantly a place for conversation between writers, audience, enthusiasts, and musicians.
Here's our top pick of 5 UK Jazz Blogs...
Be Bop Spoken Here
Okay, okay - we'll admit to some bias here being from the same neck of the woods as BBSH. But Lance Liddle, Russell Corbett and team have created a unique blog which has provided a spring board for many North East musicians which now documents music from across the country - and the world!
Currently listed third in UKs top 10 jazz blogs, winner of the media category in the 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and after thirteen years now boasts in excess of 13, 00 posts!
In their words: "The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes."
Check out the full blog here, including a great series on 'Ten Great North East Jazz Musicians: lance-bebopspokenhere.blogspot.com
The centre piece of this site is it's regular podcast series which expores "contemporary releases from the worls of jazz, hip-hop, electronica and everything in between"
The site features the usual array of news, reviews features and interviews, but focuses on newer releases with a more 'finger on the pulse' kind of vibe.
Editor, founder and podcast presenter, Ally J Steel, started JR in 2016 as a Leeds student radio project but has since grown it into a national endevor. Another contributor to the jazz blog world with pedagree, he is the digital and socal media manager for Jazz FM so knows a thing or two about running a blog!
In their words: "JR is a music podcast with jazz at its core...[it] looks at the latest music that we love."
JR also have their own very cool online awards in catagories including UK, International and Breakthrough Artists as well as EP and Album of the year.
Check it out: jazzrevelations.com
The Jazz Mann
The slick 2019 winner of the Parlimentary Jazz Awards media category ran by Ian Mann from Herefordshire offers a national prespective on the UK scene. A brilliant site which can be viewed and searched by catagory, and also offers a recomended listening section which has been a great source of new music for me.
The Jazz Mann has become known in recent years for his work reviewing albums and new releases from across a huge range of labels, sub-genres and geographical areas - it's such a clean site to browse, if you're looking for new music - you're bound to discover something here.
Ian says "Jazz is an ever-evolving music and I think it’s great that after listening to it for all this time the emergence of exciting young musicians still gives me a thrill. I think we have some fantastically talented players in this country, right across the generations but sadly many of them are deeply undervalued."
Here's the link to The Jazz Mann blog in full: thejazzmann.com
The Blue Moment
Richard Williams' blog is a new favorite for me - too many hours spent browsing this vast catalogue of writing and discovering new titles and artists. The comprehensive list of catagories running down the side of the page coveres everything from 'African, Ambient, Art and Bluegrass' through to 'Skiffle, Soul, Sound art and Theatre'.
The range is dizzying and the writers heratige speaks for it's self: "Since the late 1960s I’ve written about music for the Melody Maker, the (London) Times, the Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, Down Beat, Jazz Journal, Mojo, the TLS, Granta, Uncut and other publications. A list of the people I’ve most enjoyed interviewing during that time would include Marvin Gaye, Laura Nyro, Booker T. Jones, Miles Davis, Curtis Mayfield, Charles Mingus..." the list goes on, as do the journalistic acolades.
Check it out at thebluemoment.com - you won't be dissapointed!
London Jazz News
There is no denying the place of London Jazz News in any list of UK Jazz Blogs - by virtue of the sheer number of London jazz musicians traveling the length and breth of the country, LJN often covers events beyond the cpaital in it's bid to document the London scene.
It's another brilliantly organised site which contains everything from release and gig reviews, through to special features and interviews. Edited and published under the watchful eye of Sebastian Scotney and with a crack team of editors and contributors it does an incredable job of documenting and informing about the vibrant London scene.
I also love to use it to discover new places to see jazz in London via it's dedicated venues page which provides a comprehensive list of posibilities in the capital.
Here it is: londonjazznews.com