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Hard at Work

Editor-in-Chief Lee Mergner introduces the December 2010 issue of JazzTimes

With a cover story on Roberta Gambarini and pieces on Mary Stallings and Helen Merrill, this issue was initially planned with a theme of jazz vocals. But I see the true theme as a deeper one that resonates for all of us, not just the musicians covered in these pages: hard work. No, not the title of the John Handy crossover hit from 1976, but rather the ethos of staying focused on the job at hand, no matter what the initial feedback or circumstances.

In our present economic situation, everyone who is fortunate enough to still have a job seems to be working harder than ever at it. Indeed, this magazine is saturated with elbow grease, from 2011 NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman, who’s always been one of the hardest-working musicians in the jazz community, to Antonio Sanchez, who traveled to Berklee from Mexico City with nothing but his drums and drive, later becoming a rhythmic muse to Pat Metheny and Gary Burton as well as an imposing composer and bandleader.

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