Interviews this week from the wonderful Marc Myers at his award winning JazzWax blog! Today is a two parter with a true legend in Jazz journalism, Nat Hentoff. In part one, Hentoff discusses growing up in Boston, how he landed a job at Down Beat in 1953 and what he did to get fired in 1957, while part two covers Charlie Ventura, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus and the links between jazz and justice. From the interview:
Was the competition tough among jazz writers back in the 1950s?
There weren’t that many of us at the time to have much competition. Besides, I never compete with anyone. As a reporter, I don’t believe in exclusives. If your job is to get the news out, I’m happy to help. I’ve often given leads to reporters on other newspapers. I’ve even shared things with reporters if I knew things they didn’t. I never viewed jazz writing as a competitive sport. I may not have agreed with other writers and critics, but I never saw them as rivals in the pure sense.