The End For Just Jazz Guitar Magazine
One of my favourite magazines has published its final edition. Thank you and goodbye to Just Jazz Guitar Magazine.
I first discovered Just Jazz Guitar magazine at a dusty news stall in Khan Market back in 2003. I had recently moved to Delhi and was caught in the midst of full blown, what am I doing in India, culture shock.
I’d been told Khan Market was a place where one could “get things.” This was, of course, a sort of expat shorthand for the homesickness-inducing niceties that weren’t widely available in local stores at the time, like imported cheese, toys or magazines.
It was the fashion publications that first caught my attention. Not the beguiling, sexy cover photos so much as the wide range of languages available, French, German, Spanish, Russian. Then I started to notice how huge the selection of magazines was, tightly packed onto display shelves that towered over my head.
The news stand was arranged along a busy corridor, the attendant sitting on a low, green, wooden stool with a small cash box by his feet. Busy, impatient shoppers kept bumping into me as I made my way slowly along the racks. I can’t have been the last recent arrival, before or since, to have been mesmerised by this wall of choice.
I navigated my way from current affairs publications, to architecture and design magazines and eventually found the music publications. There were familiar mastheads, like Guitar Player and Guitarist, along with an odd, heavy black and white publication I hadn’t ever read before, Just Jazz Guitar.
Those were difficult days for me, having recently switched careers I found great solace in playing guitar everyday and immersing myself in the study of jazz. There were some weeks, during my years in India, where I did little other than play through the transcriptions and lessons in the magazine. Just Jazz Guitar introduced me to some fine musicians and helped me better understand the language of jazz.
This week the final edition of Just Jazz Guitar arrived in my Tokyo letterbox. It took me a few days to muster up the courage to break open the plastic. I knew the moment I unwrapped the magazine for the last time a chapter in my creative journey would come to an end.
In December Ed Benson, the founder and editor of Just Jazz Guitar, wrote to subscribers explaining his decision to retire and close the magazine after 21 years of publication.
Thank you to Ed and all the people behind Just Jazz Guitar. The magazine will always have a special place in my heart.