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Letter From The Publisher

Jazz Inside is the new title I created to continue the tradition that I started as the Founder and Publisher of Jazz Improv Magazine and Jazz Improv NY Magazine for twelve years and four years respectively.

Jazz Inside is the new title I created to continue the tradition that I started as the Founder and Publisher of Jazz Improv Magazine and Jazz Improv NY Magazine for twelve years and four years respectively.


Jazz Inside is brought to you by the same team as the previous title. It features the same foundational understandings and commitments, the same select group of writers, the same layout and design, the same columns and features and the companion CD. All the elements that readers have come to enjoy and that I assembled to make Jazz Improv unique, I’ve infused into Jazz Inside Magazine.


One of the most important reasons for the new title was to enable us to reach and influence the broadest demographic that populates the jazz landscape. For now, I have suspended publication under the Jazz Improv banner to make room for growth and expansion.


The word “improv” also had a connotation that seemed to limit appeal only to musicians, even though the majority of our content is equally valuable to non-musicians and creators of the music. I wanted to do away with the false assumption by many non-musician jazz lovers that because there was some music in the magazine, the other 200 pages of interviews and reviews were somehow not for them.


Actually, a number of readers who didn’t play music commented that the analyses and instructional articles actually helped give them a better understanding of the music that they love—or an inside view. They were able to get inside the creative process of their favorite musicians.


In 1997, when I founded Jazz Improv Magazine, the sub-title was “Timeless Music, Motivation and Ideas.” I wanted the magazine to embody much more than the surface elements of what scales or chords an artist might play, or what type or brand or model reeds or drum sticks or piano a musician might be using to perform. I wanted readers to be motivated and inspired by ideas that transcend time—something that both this music, the concept of improvisation and the ideas about personal development, motivation, and philosophy by great thinkers that we began publishing provided. Initially, I began publishing motivational quotes and common sense ideas in little quote boxes—to remind myself how I wanted to live. Readers loved them and found them to be guiding lights in their own lives. The majority of our relationships in life are transactional ones—the buying and selling of goods and services. But, the truly meaningful relationships in life are transformational ones.


My intent with Jazz Improv was to create a publication that went way beyond the mere transaction of paying for an entertaining magazine, and the fluff that is so prevalent in the media. My hope was that the magazine would enable readers to have some sort of transformational experience. Indeed that was the case for a number of readers.


One reader wrote:

“Although the people that you interview are successful educators, performers and recording artists, it is good to hear their stories, because I can relate to them. Somehow their stories make me feel that I have not wasted my time in pursuing my jazz studies. I do realize that only I can create a jazz career for myself, and someday I will. As one of the quotes in your magazine says ‘The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up’ Your magazine is going to help me stay focused. It’s the closest thing that I have to ‘hanging out’ with other people who have a passion for jazz.”


Under the title Jazz Improv, the magazine featured interviews, reviews of recordings and musical products, instructional articles, song lead sheets, transcriptions of solos and more. The design and layout was functional—not fine art. But, unlike how artistic designs can sometimes make the text and type difficult to read, our intent was to ensure readability—so there was no black type on red backgrounds, for example, or difficult to decipher fonts. Initially, some of the comments we received were along the lines of, “The magazine design is not that pretty, but it has something the other magazines don’t — an abundance of content.” We published in-depth instructional articles, comprehensive interviews, bio-discographical features and photo galleries. Some of those features were 20 to 30 pages long, the most in-depth features published in any jazz magazine. Among those were the interviews with Pat Metheny, Kenny Burrell, among others, the features on Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra and many more. The 24-page photo gallery of the 50th Newport Jazz Festival was the most extensive feature in a periodical on the legendary annual event. As time went on, the amount of content increased even more. The issue featuring drummer Buddy Rich on the cover ballooned to 304 pages, with 100 pages alone on Rich.


Jazz Improv did not have the largest group of writers or the most well-known. However, we attracted a very select group of writers, people not looking to have their byline on something in every imaginable media outlet—and so Jazz Improv never fused into the incumbent voice of other magazines who draw from the same pool.


The opinion of the dedicated, informed jazz fan, educator, artist etc. is every bit as relevant as those positioning themselves as journalists in this music. I didn’t recruit very many people to write for the magazine. Instead, readers—artists, educators, highly knowledgeable jazz fans—who have resonated with our foundational understandings—began to contact us over time. The reward of attracting incredibly knowledgeable and thoughtful people who approach us to write with a certain purity of purpose, and who share a commitment to the same values and integrity—cannot be overstated.


In this first issue under our new title, Jazz Inside, we feature John McLaughlin. Gary Heimbauer interviewed John about his career, his current activities and his experiences performing and recording with Miles Davis, which helped launch his career to a much broader audience and paved the way for his Mahavishnu Orchestra and beyond.


This issue of Jazz Inside Magazine also features interviews with an array of stylistically diverse artists: Hank Jones, Paul Bley, Mike Mainieri, Anthony Braxton and others.

E-Book on the Enhanced CD

  On the enhanced CD you’ll find an e-book that includes transcriptions of improvised solos by an array of influential artists, along with song lead sheets, musical exercises and more.

FREE Download:

Jazz Inside NY Magazine

Remember to download from our website your free copy of Jazz Inside NY Magazine (monthly). Or, if you’re in New York, it is available at 200 locations (jazz clubs, record stores, and more).


VISIT The Jazz Inside Audio Wall




We endeavor to infuse each issue of Jazz Inside Magazine with a depth and substance of content about the music and those who make it, and to provide you with ideas to motivate you in your own life and creative pursuits. Thank you for your support and the compliments that we receive from so many of you


- Eric Nemeyer, Publisher

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