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Notes on how to win with Jassman

The older I get, the grumpier, more irrational and dismissive I become. So, let’s see if I manage to rise to the challenge of yet another new year.

The CD reviews and competitions will resume next month. Allow me to use this first column of 2013 to vent, just a little. I thank the readers who have written to or called me during the last 12 months – positive and negative criticisms are always welcome.

Positive because of new insights gained and negative because they prove that married men are well prepared to face any onslaught.

I mentioned a few times last year that up to half of the competition entries I receive contain no answer or details of the sender. The salutation “Sent from my Blackberry” will win the sender zip. Past winners will know that I do contact them and in this way friends are made.

I am often brought up sharpish by readers who challenge my scribblings by referring me to columns written some years ago.

These readers cut and paste the columns from yesteryear and trot them out when my memory, now resembling Emmentaler cheese, fails me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the intercourse (I use the word in its widest meaning) as I learn so much from readers. And, yes, I was threatened with bloody murder when a reader challenged me on my comment that Take Five was composed by Paul Desmond and not Dave Brubeck.

You will note that the new name for this column is The Jassman. The editor of Tonight has allowed me to change the name of this column to that of the jazz magazine I publish.

“Jass” was the original spelling of “jazz” and goes back to the era of Buddy Bolden’s band (and others) playing in the streets of New Orleans.

My column restricts itself to jazz, blues and Big Bands and so does The Jassman, South Africa’s only home-grown international jazz magazine. Contributing correspondents are local, from the US and England. The magazine is published six times a year and often has articles that expand on items published in Tonight.

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