JT Notes: JazzTimes Gets a New Look

JazzTimes editor Mac Randall introduces the magazine's redesigned print and digital versions

JazzTimes' new look

You may have noticed that the latest issue of JazzTimes looks a little different. For months, our art director Carolyn Marsden and our graphic designer Eoin Laramee have been on a mission to reset the magazine visually, fiddling with fonts, sampling swatches, and laboring over layouts. You can now see the results of all their hard work in our first redesigned issue. To our eyes, the new design retains a classic underlying structure while ensuring that even our more text-heavy pages get a vivifying splash of color. We hope you enjoy it.

This redesign of the print magazine coincides with a similar retooling of JazzTimes.com. If you’ve ever found our website frustrating, I’ve got a confession to make: So have we. It’s looked the same for a decade, it was never all that aesthetically pleasing to begin with, and it’s become more difficult to navigate through over time—that can happen when you pile up 20-plus years of content. Despite this, it’s heartening to see that our web traffic numbers continue to rise, as hundreds of thousands visit our site each month. We’re thankful for every one of those visitors, we believe they deserve better, and we suspect they’ll all greatly appreciate the new, simpler, more elegant, more intuitively organized JazzTimes.com.

Besides revamping the look of both our magazine and our website, we’ve also made a few departmental changes. Most notably, this issue features the first installment of Ethan Iverson’s Chronology column, which will explore some of the less-traveled byways in jazz history and offer fresh critical takes on a wide array of artists. JazzTimes readers need no introduction to Iverson’s work as a pianist; those of you who’ve seen his Do the Math blog or his essays in The New Yorker and elsewhere know that his writing skills are sharp too, and we’re proud to have him on board.

Another new addition is The Scene, a quick primer on a place where jazz happens. That place could be a city, a neighborhood, a club, a concert hall, a festival, or something else entirely; this time, it’s an art gallery in Los Angeles. Farther into the magazine, we’ve expanded our Gearhead section to two pages. This will allow us to cover certain pieces of musical equipment in greater depth and—as in this issue—talk to performers (yes, actual gearheads) about the instruments and accessories they can’t do without.

Fans of our artist profiles, Q&As, reviews, and regular departments like Before & After, Overdue Ovation, Audio Files, Chops, and Artist’s Choice, fear not: None of that stuff is going away. And, of course, our dedication to bringing you top-notch writing on some of the world’s best music hasn’t wavered in the slightest. We’ll simply be doing it in a better-looking way from now on. 

Mac Randall

Mac Randall

Mac Randall has been the editor of JazzTimes since May 2018. Prior to that, he wrote regularly for the magazine. He has written about numerous genres of music for a wide variety of publications over the past 30 years, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Observer, Mojo, and Guitar Aficionado, and he has worked on the editorial staffs of Musician, LAUNCH (now Yahoo! Music), Guitar One, Teaching Music, Music Alive!, and In Tune Monthly. He is the author of two books, Exit Music: The Radiohead Story and 101 Great Playlists. He lives in New York City.