Jack Maher 1 of 2
Howard Mandel February 19, 03
please note that obituary contributor Frank Alkyer is Jack Maher's hand-picked successor as publisher of Down Beat.

As a former editor of Down Beat, I had consistent disagreements with Jack and a less generous view of his work in jazz journalism. If his aim was to keep the magazine going, he did indeed succeed; however, by my lights, he was very little interested in having the magazine grow, and did not support the music or music writing of the time with the financial backing or morale encouragement that it deserved, and which would have helped his publication thrive. Editors under Jack's tenure including Don DeMichael, Ray Townley, Chuck Mitchell, Herb Nolan, Neil Tesser, Tim Schneckloth, John Litweiler, Art Lange, Charlie Doherty and current helmsman Jason Koransky deserve kudos for their coverage, despite all-too-typical limits of budget and/or interest from Maher's office. Charles Subor, who was publisher during the '70s under Jack's direction, also instigated much of the positive efforts regarding jazz education. Jack was a horseman and a golfer, a friend to instrument manufacturers and an admirer of select jazz stars, most notably including Maynard Ferguson and Buddy Rich. But during the first decade of his work at DB, he let his office manager exert untempered control over many issues (including cover photos featuring black musicians), and he never was able to solicit many of the potential advertisers who would have helped DB to become a cultural influence or documentation and reportage medium on the order of a Rolling Stone, Spin, Vibe, etc. May Jack rest in peace, and may Down Beat flourish for years to come.

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