We review and recommend jazz recordings recorded throughout jazz history, around the world, with the hope of exposing more people to the great jazz music that is an important part of America’s history and culture. We also teach the basics of music theory so more people can learn about jazz.

Our hope is that we can cover most of the significant jazz musicians in at least one review each and mention many others that are not so well-known to the general public. We reviewed a great number of jazz musicians, ranging from King Oliver to Miles Davis to Duke Ellington to Michael Brecker, but our main focus is on jazz’s high point in the 1950s, when many good recordings were made.


We formerly were primarily established so those in the Tri-Valley, a region of California between the San Francisco Bay and the Central Valley, could learn more about jazz, but we are now focusing on a much more general audience for anyone who is interested in jazz. We hope this will win more people to the music.


But we are still the Five Cities Jazz Monitor, since that was our name and will be our name for at least some time yet. In the meantime, you can continue to enjoy the reviews we plan to continue writing over the next few months.



We examine jazz musicians, albums, and individual records, but we let you rate them.

Music Theory

Here we cover many aspects of music theory, from improvisation to chords and tonalities.

"For Musicians Only"

A new series aimed at helping musicians make the best decisions they can.


Latest Posts

March 15, 2019

This is a rather unusual jazz review for us to do, since in this case we're reviewing a video of a live concert played in Stockholm...

March 7, 2019

Sometimes, something exists that you've never noticed before, but actually this "something" is very useful...

February 26, 2019

Last week we introduced the play-a-long series with some general information about various kinds of play-a-longs...

February 20, 2019

We plan to start a series about play-a-longs and divide it into parts...

February 11, 2019

The above title is not a mistake; this is not a jazz review...

February 2, 2019

How jazz musicians can turn their practice into something it has never before been in history...

February 2, 2019

There is more than one way to play a blues; not the musical genre, but the typically 12-measure chord sequence...

January 26, 2019

Sonny Stitt wasn't a Latin jazz musician. He wasn't from Cuba, Hispaniola, Central America, or Brazil.

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A year of...


We're trying to get jazz fans to learn about recordings and musicians in a general effort to help more people know about the music in general.


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...Jazz History

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Five Cities Jazz Monitor