about me

MaryJames_JazzaheadMy name is Mary James and this is my jazz blog. My first exposure to jazz was listening to BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Record Requests (then with Humphrey Lyttelton) with my Mother. Food, a warm kitchen, my Mother and jazz are now forever linked in my memory from that happy time. Since my retirement from 20 years in IT I have been able to do many things I never thought I’d experience, some of them you can read about  here. For instance, I never thought I would interview John Abercrombie for London Jazz News, or go to India on tour with John Law.

But I confine myself to jazz here and you will soon discover that I make no attempt at critical analysis, I leave that to others more skilled than me. All I want to do is share my enthusiasm, reflect on music I love, and maybe encourage you to go to a gig or buy some albums.  My other life is doing whatever I can to help musicians I really care about.  You can read about my work on http://marycjamesmanagement.com/

This is where I start… thanks for reading…


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18 thoughts on “about me”

  1. Hi Mary James!
    We, a band called Esp, are releasing our debut album on friday.
    Please email me if you want to listen (and review)!

    All the best

    Espen Bjarnar

    1. Hello Espen, I would be honoured to listen and review if I am able. My reviews are appreciations rather than critical works but if I like. something, I say so!

  2. Hi there,

    I’m going to be at the old Vortex, this coming Monday, May 13th, with my trio of Yuri Goloubev/Asaf Sirkis. But it’s not going to be a normal trio gig of mine. The news from me is that this could be the last London gig by the current trio line-up with which I’ve worked now for the last four or five years. My drummer, Asaf, who’s been my drummer for about the last nine years, is going to be leaving the trio in the autumn, to concentrate more on his own project. It’s a shame. We’ve toured all over the UK and Europe, notching up an incredible amount of live performances, at festivals, concert halls and clubs in many different countries (in twenty different towns and cities in Germany alone!). We did the great recording Three Leaps of the Gazelle. It’ll be one of the last chances maybe, at this Vortex gig, for some of you to get your hands on a copy signed by all three of us!

    But that’s Life and I’ll soon be unveiling a new line-up, either just a new drummer or maybe a completely new trio. Haven’t decided quite yet..

    But please come along if you can, and ask some friends along!! and make this last Vortex gig a real success! We’ll playing some of our best known hits (Congregation, Three Part Invention, Finger on the Pulse..) plus a few new fantastic hits, which were intended for a new album but.. there you go! These new tunes will be mostly almost completely new. We’ll also be playing them in France and Vienna end of this month, so this is a chance to try them out.

    Here are some details about the event:


    We’ll be starting about 8.30.

    Hope to see a big crowd for our farewell Vortex concert!


    John Law


  3. Hi Mary James,

    I recently released my debutalbum with my trio, Alex Jønsson 3. If you’d like to listen and write your thoughts about the music, please contact me 🙂

    Alex Jønsson

  4. hi mary,just wanted to say i have only recently discovered your writings on jazz.i am really enjoying your comments.the passion shines.thank you.

    1. Thank you for reading it John. I enjoy trying to articulate what I feel about this marvellous genre, jazz, which adds so much to my life.

  5. Hi,

    I am contacting you on behalf of 33 records; we are an independent jazz label, which has been running since 1990. Since our formation we have released nearly 300 contemporary jazz and world music records made by many different recording artists such as Tina May, Deborah Brown, Shaynee Rainbolt, Jackie Ryan, Kat Gang, Sandi Russell, Theo Travis and John Law. The reason for contacting you is to enquire if you would be willing to place a link to our labels website onto your site and allow us to further promote ourselves and our wide range of artists, so you can see our wide back catalogue for yourself our website is http://33jazz.com/ . If you feel that we are the type of label that you would like to have linked to your site we would be very grateful, if not then we will understand, either way it would be good to create some sort of connection between our label and your fine website.

    Yours Sincerely Anthony Page

  6. Yes I am very interested in the 33label being on my Facebook page. If you have downloads available to Australian radio broadcast.
    John Obrien

  7. Hi Mary,

    I would be very happy, If you would hear and share your thoughts about my bands new record ”Artbreak”? Can I send you the album? Thank you very much!

    Morten Haugshøj – Denmark

  8. Hi Mary – enjoy your posts here in New York. Wanted to make you aware of an event coming up on Jan 1st which may be of interest to your readers. We are working with a prestigious jazz cabaret venue here (Metropolitan Room) to put on and broadcast a 60-hour show which will get the Guinness World Record as the Longest Variety Show Ever. The big focus is on jazz vocalists with Marilyn Maye, Julie Budd, Luba Mason, KT Sullivan & Jeff Harner, etc. The full list is at http://www.livamp.com/variety and there is recent press from NY Times, etc which I can send if interested. We will be live streaming in HD quality the full 60 hours (from Jan 1st through Jan 4th) on http://www.livamp.com – the broadcast is free for all globally. Let me know if you have any questions!

  9. Hello Mary

    Thankyou for one of the warmest and directly sincere websites on music I’ve come accross.

    I’m putting a record out next month and I’d like to share it with you, do send me a line if you might fancy that.

    In any case have a fine day

    – Gus / Alabaster

  10. Hi Mary, I’ve just found your website via a tweet in fact. I’d be very grateful if you could have a listen and review of Zrazy’s new album , or perhaps the previous two outright jazz ones ‘Private Wars’ and ‘Dream On’. That may be a tall order but if you have time!. Greetings from Dublin.

  11. Hi Mary

    Whats the best way to send you some new Jazz for reviews?

    Love the look of your blog!

    1. Hi Simon, thank you so much for the compliment. I haven’t reviewed for years as I do other things. I occasionally review for London Jazz News so best to contact them.

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