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I began working at JAZZIZ in the year 2000, not long after the great non-event of the new millennium, Y2K, failed to royally screw up the civilized world, aspredicted. For 20 years I’ve labored for a good man, JAZZIZ Publisher Michael Fagien, who has always treated me well and who I’ll always regard as a beloved friend. During those two decades, mostly as Michael’s managing editor, I’ve done my best to help him and our co-workers produce what I’ve long considered, as objectively as I’m able, the world’s most handsome, compelling and substantive general-interest jazz magazine. With the publication of this issue, my tenure at JAZZIZ officially concludes. It’s been a great, occasionally thrilling, ride. As you’ve probably noticed, the jazz world is full of smart, interesting people, most of them endowed with a heightened sense of beauty and compassion. Some are gifted practically beyond compare.I remember standing in the back of a packed theater during the 2009 edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival, listening to Charles Lloyd and his sublime quartet, overwhelmed and moved to tears by the depth and eloquence of the group’s collective expression.It was yet another unforgettable demonstration of the power and reach of music when it’s rendered with skill and soul. Music is often beyond the ability of words and sentences to describe, and yet there it is, entering your innermost self, driving you to tears and sadness and elation and a vision of life fully and passionately considered. As a species, where would we be without such art? A couple weeks ago, feeling a touch sentimental about my imminent departure from JAZZIZ, I retrieved my old Olympus microcassette recorder and a dozen or socassettes from a shoebox in my bedroom closet. Over the next several days I listened to what I had recorded10, 12 and 15 years ago. A few contained scratch recordings of songs I’ve written. Those made for curious, sometimes embarrassed, listening. The other cassettes contained long interviews I’ve done with George Wein, Bruce Lundvall, Lorraine Gordon, Hugh Hefner, Dee Dee Bridgewater, bluesman John Hammond, Mike and Leni Stern, René Marie and other notables. Two 90-minute cassettes contained nothing but excerpts of an immensely pleasurable—and, in retrospect, entertaining—conversation I had with a then mostly unknown 23-year-old Esperanza Spalding at her modest home in Jersey City, New Jersey, in April 2008. There’s something about that experience—driving to Jersey City from my home in central Pennsylvania on a lovely spring morning, then hanging out for a fun and deeply enriching few hours with a supremely gifted and luminous young musician—that typifies my best memories of working for and on this magazine. It felt like something well worth doing and, afterward, in the magazine, sharing.“Sooner or later—probably sooner—Spalding will be famous,” I wrote in the ensuing cover story we ran about Esperanza. “If it isn’t inevitable, it’s right next door to inevitable. … She makes playing jazz look and sound like exquisite, exotic fun. In a world half-starved for joy and release, there’s something in Spalding’s approach—which is to say, something in her generous spirit—that endears her to people.” Let it not be said that I didn’t occasionally strike the nail squarely on the head (or that I often failed to recognize the blatantly obvious). I take my leave from this venerable publication with a headful of wonderful memories and with more gratitude than I’m able to fully express. Truth is, when I started working at JAZZIZ, I knew a fair amount about editing and producing a magazine but not much about jazz music and culture.I endeavored to learn all I could as quickly and efficiently as possible, andcountless co-workers, freelance writers, publicists, promoters, musicians and otherskindly offered invaluable assistance along the way. To those fine people, so many of whom I now consider friends, I’m forever indebted. To our readers, I wish you the best and bid you a fond farewell. For the past 20 years, it’s been a pleasure and privilege to explore the jazz world while helping to produce a magazine intended to provide both quality entertainment and meaningfulintellectual sustenance. Truly, thanks for reading and supporting our endeavors. The good life I’ve known would’ve been far different without you.— David Pulizzi