Since I began this Website an ever increasing number of people from all over the world have been taking an interest in it. There have now been over ten million visits to the site, with between ten and twenty-five thousand each day (on July 9th, 2005 Jazz Professional received 46,359 hits). The viewers are coming predominantly from the U.S.A, with Spain and the U.K. following and other countries, through Sweden, India, Estonia and Taiwan making up the list.
A word about 'hits'. The site is monitored by a company specializing in site analysis. A hit occurs whenever anyone enters the site, at any page. If that person then proceeds to view the pages he or she becomes a visitor and the number of files read are noted.
The obvious advantage of such an electronic display over a conventional periodical is that it can be updated and corrected at a moment's notice. News will never go stale and can be left online as long as the editor wishes. The size of the site is not governed by compositional or printing considerations, weight, production prices or lack of space this site has over 950 pages of articles at the moment, and is still not full.
Jazz Professional is all my own work, with a little help from my friends (see Tribute). It's a little easier now that I've got most of the technical problems behind me, but learning how to do all this was a real grind. I cut my teeth on things when I ran the CrescendoJazz websitethat was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my life. I paid for the site myself and expected it to become a good advert for the Crescendo International magazine, but the magazine editor complained so much about every little detail that I took it off again. It was a good idea, but I was doing it for the wrong person. While it was running, the CrescendoJazz website received an average of 57 hits a week. Jazz Professional now gets between 6,000 and 19,000 hits each day.
The shower of compliments, received daily, on the contents of Jazz Professional has been most gratifying. Messages have been received from all corners of the earth: from Oscar Peterson in Toronto, Bud Shank and Pete Myers in Los Angeles, very many prominent British jazz musicians, musicians in Johannesburg, Melbourne, Sydney, Munich and Berlinold colleagues who vow that a musical history is being written here, soloists and bandleaders in Norway and Sweden right across the world to the highly delighted discjockey of a radio station in Perth, Australia.
I've received many strange requests (for a trumpet player); one reader asked me what type of mouthpiece Tubby Hayes had played. I was able to reply at once that Tubby had used an Otto Link metal Super Tonemaster 7 Star in 1963, same as Ronnie Scott, with both moving eventually on to 8 and 9 Star. Someone else asked for the saxophone lineup in the Goon Show broadcasts. I emailed Angela Morley in Scottsdale, who had been the MD of the Goon Show Orchestra, and she replied at once. The saxes had been Bob Burns, Harry Smith, Frank Reidy and Edward Owen (Poggy) Pogson.
A most satisfying and unexpected offshoot of Jazz Professional, however, has been the valuable assistance it has been able to render a considerable number of nonmusicians. Many have contacted me in an effort to discover more about their parents and relatives, professional musicians who died when they were too young to remember anything about them. In most cases I have been able to provide such information, photos even, from my personal knowledge of the deceased, and have been able to put them in contact with others who also knew them well. Several lost musicians have thus been traced and found.
The absolute peak of this unexpected bonus to my work came only recently when I was instrumental in bringing together a father and son who had neither seen nor heard anything of one another for 35 years.
The most recent piece of good news concerns trombonist Mac Minshull. Mac, who played with many of the great big bands, seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth many years ago. He was presumed dead by all, but has now been discovered, live, and well, in Australia, by his nephew, who never gave up seeking him. (see Comments)
Such is the power of the Internet. Type in a name, any name, and you are more or less certain to find whatever it is you are searching for. Such, too, is the power and attraction of Jazz Professional.
Seek and ye shall find!
A Word about the Interviews
The Les Tomkins interviews, which have contributed largely to the success of this site, were mostly made between 1963 and 1980. Most of them refer to on-going visits to the UK of the musicians involved; such conversations are ageless, and, I think, priceless.
If you want to use something from Jazz Professional on your own site, perhaps an article or photograph, then ask me. If it's my copyright then I'll consider your request. If the rights belong to another, I'll give you his email address and you can ask him. If you want to link to an article on my website there are ways to do this, too. You only need to ask. Don't forgetthe material here has all been hardwon by dedicated people.
Please support your Jazz Professional website and respect the copyright restrictions.