The big news surrounding the genre this week is the acquisition of the UK's biggest selling jazz publication 'Jazzwise' by publishing outfit 'The Mark Allen Group'. A reputable organization, the Mark Allen Group prepares over 50 titles in business, health care, leisure and education and are clearly seeking to break into the musical quagmire with the latest addition to their literary roster. The magazine had been published since its conception by in-house startup 'Jazzwise Publications Limited' and the group have insisted that they will continue to exist, focusing predominantly on the production of sheet music and tuition books for musicians rather than the monthly periodical.
As a headline statement I initially found this news somewhat disheartening; it was hard enough to find a retailer that stocked the magazine in its initial self-published format, so becoming merely the latest commodity of a group that over-see's upwards of 50 titles already could mean that 'Jazzwise' will take somewhat of a backseat role within in the business model. Also 'The Mark Allen Group'... it doesn't exactly fill your heart with an steely optimism that spells an ascent for the genre as a whole, it sounds more like a mid-level legal advisory conglomerate.
Fortunately, for all my ignorance, I quickly realised that my knee-jerk qualms of an organisation that I know nothing about were unfounded and, after my previous paragraph berating the company, I have to say that I could not have been more wrong. Mark Allen, the company chairman, is an avid fan of the genre and one of the leading figures behind The Wiltshire jazz festival, a charity event based at the groups Wiltshire offices. Allen has expressed his delight at the prospect of developing the publication throughout time and has praised the staff that run the UK's leading jazz title.
Magazines editor, Jon Newey, stated 'We are greatly looking forward to taking Jazzwise up to the next level as Europe’s leading English language jazz magazine across print, online and app with the expertise and support of the Mark Allen Group'.
It's not often you get some jazz news in the form of a high-end industry story so let's bask in it, hell it might even make Musicweek!