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Wax Poetics: The Jazz Issue

I often curse out loud when I pick up a new issue at my local record store. The editors have a knack for choosing artists whom I find irresistible.

wax poetics

Photo: Wax Poetics

Wax Poetics vol. 43, the Reggae Issue, features Augustus Pablo.

Wax Poetics, the inimitable bimonthly journal of old-school hiphop, funk, soul and more, has published an all-jazz issue well worth checking out. Highlights include articles on:

  • pianist and underground jazz/community activist Horace Tapscott
  • guitarist Melvin Sparks
  • producers Creed Taylor, Joel Dorn, and Richard Evans (the latter was the force behind many late-1960s Cadet releases, including Woody Herman‘s Light My Fire)

Wax Poetics tends to endorse, rather proudly, the kind of 1960s/70s crossover jazz that doesn’t generally sit well with some jazz fans. In part, that’s because Wax Poetics jazz tends to be the same stuff that hip-hop artists have often ended up sampling.

I always find the magazine a fascinating read, though. I often curse out loud when I pick up a new issue at my local record store, in fact, because there’s usually one jazz article, and the editors have a real knack for choosing artists whom I find irresistible as subject matter: Ahmad Jamal, Sam Rivers, and Phil Ranelin have all been featured. Minutes after I pick it up, I’m sliding more coins across the counter.

External Links

  • If your local music store or periodicals vendor doesn’t carry the magazine, you can order the all-jazz issue here
  • …or you can visit the Wax Poetics website.
David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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