If I’ve never said it this directly, I absolutely love your writing.  I was just talking with a fellow musician after a gig last night about our favorite musician/improvisers and what they have in common.  One of things I was stressing was no matter how serious the artist, joy was as the center of their expression. The way in which that is expressed varies, but it’s always there (Armstrong, any Sonny, Giuffre, Ornette, Bix, Chico Hamilton). I love that you write like a jazz musician on so many levels, that same wellspring of joy being at the center of it.

Ever since we first “met” (Chris Madsen Trio video on “Stardust”) and I became aware of “Jazz Lives”, I’ve so enjoyed what and how you feature this music and its participants.

I just want to hear what you have to say and the joyful way in which you express it.

Joe Policastro, Chicago, August 12, 2017

Hi. Michael,

just to tell you  have a fantastic jazz blog. Content, language, spirit, humour – I think others had said that many times.

I regret only now having the chance to discover it, and incidentally getting to know new places to hear our music (how many times I desperately looked for some good classic jazz while visiting New York – in vain.)

Congratulations from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where you have several fans.

Best wishes,

Sergio Guerreiro
April 9, 2012

I just wanted to drop a line to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your website and commentary over the last few years. I know how hard it is to operate a jazz blog, and recently retired from it to focus more time on actually playing. At any rate, I am a regular reader and particularly love your coverage of Marty Grosz.Best,

Jack Fields

January 20, 2012
At last I have time to find your email address, and finally write – to say a big “Thank You” for your wonderful blog.  You send it faithfully, and I get enormous enjoyment from it.
Especially I must mention how much I absolutely loved your comments to “Search Engine Terms” – all of them!!!  I haven’t laughed so long and so hard in ages – even now, if I even think of what you wrote, I start giggling madly.  (I wish I could share the humour with my family, but I am the only Jazz fan in the house.  I have sent it on to two of my jazz friends, and hopefully they have already joined your blog as well!) Your sense of humour is so great, but what really got to me was when, after discussing Benny Goodman, you said: “Now I have to lie down.”     Please keep those Search Engine Terms coming, with your inimitable comments. 
A very Happy New Year to you and your family – a year full of good health, happiness and lots and lots of great music to listen to!
Gita Mazabow
Johannesburg, South Africa

You do what we all try to do with our horns: say a lot in a little space.

Randy Sandke, November 21, 2011

Dear Mr Steinman,

I have been reading your blog for the last three years or so and it just
occurred to me that I have never taken the time to say “thank you”.  Your blog
has become essential reading for me and is a constant delight. The interviews,
anecdotes, observations, reviews and videos are always interesting and always
something different. Working long hours in financial markets it is a real
plesure when I get the time two or three times a week to check in to your blog
and forget the stresses of the day as I immerse myself in stories about the
inimitable Red Allen, or listen to an enthusiastic but poised chorus by Gordon
Au (of whom I would never have heard but for “Jazz Lives”), or read an
appreciation of somebody like the great Sid Catlett.
What a great thing it is that you take your camcorder around and record such
great music. Imagine if somebody had been in your position with the same
technology years ago and visited Condon’s club with camcorder at the ready as
regularly as you visit “The Ear” !. It is wonderful that you are creating – and
sharing – this record.

I am nothing more than a casual jazz enthusiast, no expert, no musician….but
it is always wonderful to hear your reaction to a new musician or a new find
from an old musician, or a reminiscence about a Legend heard in your youth.
You have a grace in your use of language and a depth of knowledge that always makes your comments compelling and rewarding. More than anything, your love of the music shines through and it is in infectious.

Along with Ricky Riccardi’s Armstrong Blog (whose links led me to yours) “Jazz
Lives” has enriched my life and recharged my enthusiasm for this wonderful
music, which is the more enjoyable for your expert and erudite cheerleading.

So with apologies that it has taken me so long to get round to saying
it….”Thank you” !

With Heartfelt Appreciation

David Parkinson, December 1, 2010

The two blogs I check most often are JAZZ LIVES & JAZZ WAX – the first mostly covers swing & traditional players (mostly in NYC, with lots of great original video) – the second is mostly about bop, talking about lots of wild offbeat albums and interviewing survivors from the era. I check these both almost every day.

(I use google reader for this – Mr. Garrick told me about it, you can put a whole bunch of blogs on one page, see what’s new, and then either read them right there or go back to the original website.)

I love to read about Raymond Burke & Doc Souchon on Jazz Lives, or Don Sleet and Lennie Niehaus on Jazz Wax.

Will Friedwald, January 31, 2010

Your writing puts me in the room.  A curious 3 1/2 dimension reality where I’m dancing with the jitterbugs, blowing the out chorus with the band . . . Whitney Balliett is gone.  Michael Steinman has come, not a beat missed.

Leroy “Sam” Parkins, May 10, 2008

Many thanks for your kind comments on my blog – and coming from a writer as good as you they mean twice as much! It’s great to meet like-minded people blogging about jazz, and you have some killer posts here.

Unfortunately, I’ve never heard Phil Schaap’s show so it’s hard to comment. Likewise, being a Brit, I’ve never read the New Yorker (oh, what sheltered lives we lead). It would, however, have been nice to see Mr Remnick write about jazz in it’s current, working form in New York. As you say, a trip to The Ear Inn to hear Kellso in full flight is a treat for anyone.

I look forward to hopefully meeting you in NY in June.

Nik Payton, May 15, 2008

Occasionally, one might hear some food editor waxing eloquently about a certain dish and the reader is so struck that he wonders, “I’ve got to have a taste of that.” If you can read this piece about Albert Ammons and not want a taste, you aren’t reading English. Ammons was a marvelous pianist with a powerful right hand that had a jab like Mohammed Ali. Jazz and Boogie Woogie all have examples of “truth” and Bottom Blues is one of them. Deliciously written, Michael.

Bill Gallagher, July 1, 2008

Hi Michael:
Hope you had a wonderful time in Maui…and thanks for all the wonderful stuff you kept feeding us with even though you were so far away.
I knew you were home when you posted the Ear Inn gig…and I was in 7th heaven…I even made chicken marsala for dinner to eat while I watched the clips, because that’s what I always ordered at the Ear.  Then you give me my favorite hugger/drummer Kevin Dorn and all those guys I adore.  And then the Bix and his gang redux, with those we miss so much, Davern, Sudhalter, etcc..and tonight, clips from Central Ill. Jazz fest, which I have attended and loved (Maggie runs such a great festival) eating my heart out I can’t be there and you give it to me….your gift is such a lift!!!!
Love you for all you do…….extra hugs. and to Lorna, too!!!!!

Nancie Beaven, February 7, 2010

Hello – I just have to write to say THANK YOU FOR “JAZZ LIVES”. I look forward to reading “and listening” to your email when it arrives. I was especially touched by “We Called Him Satchmo”. Keep up the great work….

Joan Bauer, Pennsylvania Jazz Society, February 14, 2010

I don’t like to stay at the computer too long (though I do more often than not) – but afterwards I think I wasted my time …

This never happens when I visit your page: I like your combination of music and your writing style (well informed, sensitive, open hearted, humerous, modest but without a lack self-confidence, respectful, positive … ahahha … do you want to hear more!??)

Without health and without music and without love there is no color in life ….

I’m somehow happy ‘meeting’ you in this space jungle …

Good night and stay positive and curious,

Claudia, March 5, 2010

11 responses to “APPLAUSE!

  1. I will be following your most interesting site Michael. I keep thinking I might ‘give it a go’ myself, but feel I don’t have nearly as much to contribute as you do. Keep up the good work – Your Blog is great — You also have a wonderful way with words.
    Love from Elin


  3. Corin Stiggall

    Michael, great to see you tonight at the Ear Inn! Thank you for your kind words about me playing with those major cats last week on June 26th!

  4. Ernesto Brucker

    This site is marvellous , please never give up , I remember first days in Internet looking for traditional jazz and no finding nothing .Thanks god now there is a lot to see and hear .


  5. Thank You Thank You for your great efforts to document this golden era

  6. the “handsome drummer” in photo next to trio photo was Paul Barbarin, from a distinguished New Orleans family of musicians. he drummed for the King Oliver, Luis Russell & Louis Armstrong bands in 20’s & 30’s. Also, the photo of Edgar Sampson was taken in September 1935 in front of the Savoy where a battle between the Chick Webb & Jimmie Lunceford bands took place. Other snapshots taken on this occasion show Webb bandsmen with Ella Fitzgerald and Teddy Hill Orchestra bandsmen Roy Eldridge and Chu Berry.

  7. sergio guerreiro


  8. luciano lincoln

    Michael Hi,

    Thanks for the tips on where to go here in San Francisco.
    Hope to meet you again at some of these places.

    Best wishes,
    Luciano and Tünde (the couple from Brazil and Hungary you spoke to at the bar last night 😉 )

  9. Tom Holbrook

    Tamar Korn & Fellas/Shine on Harvest Moon: just can’t get this wonderful performance out of my head! Lucky me!
    Absolutely wonderful.

  10. Elinor Hackett /Sacramento

    Always enjoy your daily reports–You certainly have a WAY with words ! –Delightful !

  11. Bernard Victor

    At least I’ve got something out of my short membership of the Dixieland Jazz and Our Kind of Music. I’ve discovered your blog, where I can read intelligent writing on jazz.

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