I have been fortunate to have made the acquaintance of a number of extraordinary people. Over the next few months I'd like to introduce some of them to you. In general, I like these people not necessarily because of their expertise, but because they transcend that expertise to reach the rest of us.
I made the acquaintance of Jason Lyon, http://jasonlyonjazz.wordpress.com/, while I was frantically searching on the internet for good information about jazz. I stumbled across this amazing site with sensible, concise and useful articles abounded. The subjects of these articles were as diverse as they were interesting: business, how a jam session works, what to think about when playing Latin-American music.
When I contacted the author of the site I found him to be extremely friendly, outgoing and possessed of a desire first and foremost to be helpful. His sense of humor, and the absence of a personal glorification agenda, made me feel like I had this friend I could have a beer with anytime, just to talk about jazz. Needless to say, his knowledge and experience are vast, so along with the virtual beer, one receives succinct and accurate information about subjects that so desperately need, and often lack, clarity.
I've blogged previously about his books. You can find that review at http://ats.acole.net/blog.html/review_of_new_jazz_education_literature/ If you're on a tight budget, just visit his site. The articles there are numerous, free and easy to read without short-changing you on the information.
In addition, Mr. Lyon has included links to all sorts of helpful places. To sum it up, he seems to have no greater desire in life but that you get better both at playing jazz and learning about it. Thanks, Jason, for what you're doing for a music which I consider essential and which, frankly, can't get enough of your kind of teaching.