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Thirty Years of Our JazzTimes: The 1980s

For JazzTimes' 30th anniversary, Bob Blumenthal looks back at the music of the magazine's second decade

What were the ’80s like? The decade seems particularly hard to grasp, since in the rapidly moving context of jazz history it inhabits a middle distance, too removed for easy recall yet close enough to ensure that any changes wrought have not necessarily been fully played out.

Quantitatively, the period threatens to overwhelm, with the music’s cumulative stylistic variations all coexisting and continuing to produce ever more massively documented trails on vinyl, video, cassette and the decade’s new format, the compact disc.

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