Alison Kerr is an award-winning journalist whose passion for jazz ignited her career as a writer.
For 20 years, Alison was a contributor of jazz reviews and features to The Herald newspaper, in her hometown of Glasgow. She also wrote regularly on the subject for The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.
Other publications for which Alison has covered jazz include The Guardian, the Sunday Herald, Jazz Journal International, JazzWise and Jazz Review. For 10 years, she was a regular guest on BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship jazz show, Bebop to Hiphop, covering such topics as Jazz on Film and classic jazz and contributing packages of interviews recorded at jazz parties and festivals.
In 2011, Alison programmed a Jazz on Film strand for the Glasgow Jazz Festival and presented a talk on the subject.
Alison has penned liner notes for several CDs on the Arbors Records label – among them Warren Vaché’s Don’t Look Back and Ruby Braff/Scott Hamilton’s For the Last Time (a recording of Braff’s last concert, given in Nairn, Scotland) – and for albums by such diverse musicians/bands as the Hot Antic Jazz Band, Carol Kidd, John Allred and Alan Barnes.
The jazz stars whom Alison has interviewed include Annie Ross, Doc Cheatham, Marty Grosz, Dick Hyman, Humphrey Lyttelton, Carol Kidd, Diana Krall, John Bunch, Harry Connick Jr, Curtis Stigers, Gene Harris, Warren Vache, Kenny Davern, Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Scott Hamilton, Bob Wilber and Bucky Pizzarelli.
In 1986, she held the door open for Milt Hinton.
RECENT PRAISE FOR ALISON’S WORK
Curtis Stigers: “one of my favorite music writers”
Emma Thompson: “What gorgeous articles!”
Michael Winner: “Thank you so much for sending me the article. I thought it was excellent.”
John Byrne: “Great piece! Enjoyed it hugely. My warmest thanks.”
9 responses to “About Alison”
I read your article on Le Doigt’s De L’Homme. I too attended the gig and after about 10 minutes could not wait to leave. I should say that I have been a semi-pro guitarist in Edinburgh for 30 years and also love Django’s music (though I tend more towards Wes in my own playing). The reason I wanted to leave was that there was simply no beauty in the playing. The whole thing that makes Django great is beauty in choice of notes but more so in the way he produced such a great tone and did so consistently. The guys at the Hub were just thrashing out licks in machine gun fashion. I spoke to Marcus Ford and Nick Gent at the interval and told them I was going as I could not take any more.
As I left I thought “am I just a fussy, grumpy, intolerant old git, can all those staying people be wrong?” – I seemed to be the only person leaving the building.
I wanted to thank you for spotting the over dependance on flash over substance – it has made me feel a lot less paranoid.
…thoroughly enjoyed listening to Maxine Sullivan the other night on Radio Scotland’s ‘Jazz House.’
I threw out my T.V. almost three years’ ago; the Radio is my Salvation!!!
Good, ecletic music, rather than the boil-in-the-bag guff.
Radio is essential – it’s where music belongs.
great Blog ! keep up the great posts !
Thought you might like to check out the blog thats been tracking my labor of Jazz love !… Finding Carlton – Uncovering the Story of Jazz in India
Links to the trailer, Blog (http://bluerhythm.wordpress.com/) etc
are all available at
Susheel J. Kurien
Hi Alison, thank you for your great blog. keep up supporting jazz music! Please, check out my tribute to the great Ray Brown at http://open.spotify.com/album/1M4jihhtzNhq4RrsVFTq5e
Dear Alison….we miss you & your blog.How are things??Pug & Bob Wilber
Hi Pug & Bob, I’m fine thanks – but could do with more work! Freelance journalism is a struggle and newspapers have cut right back – so I have had to concentrate on trying to find new work recently. Anyone want a jazz writer?! Hope all is well with you & we can catch up soon. Alison
Do you have any way of contacting Alex Moore’s family. We have a guitar of his that he gave to our mother Senga, and we would love it to return to his family. Wondered if you had any contacts that could help with this. Many thanks Fraser.
Alison did you work for the Aberdeen Press and Journal in your earlier years?
No, I was exclusively Glasgow Herald for the first ten or so years of my career. My name doesn’t seem to be that uncommon but I haven’t come across another journalist who shares it!