It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I write this as a thank you and tribute to Euan Dixon who passed away on Thursday 9th February.
I had spoken to Euan only a few short weeks ago, and while he had advised that he had been feeling unwell, the nature of his illness he casually brushed away and carried on our conversation on the merits and importance of the early jazz of the 1920s.
This very neatly sums up Euan Dixon.
A very gentle and softly spoken man, he was always kind and considerate, and yet very much had his own opinions which he would eloquently express in his writing. When reviewing an album and assessing a musician’s work he was not afraid to say if something was not to his liking but would always do so in a constructive yet never dismissive manner.
By the same token, if there was a recording that he felt was worthy and important he would say so in a positive way and be able to express lucidly and concisely his case for his recommendations. There would be many occasions that upon reading Euan’s reviews that I would make a concerted effort to seek out the album and listen for myself, based on his enthusiasm.
And that in my mind is what makes a good reviewer. If through their words in a well thought out and written review, you are compelled to listen to an album that you might not otherwise have heard then that is a job well done.
I met Euan shortly after the inception of the original Jazz Views website in 2002. Euan was the first contributor to join what has become a team of dedicated writers and has given unstintingly of his time in contributing album reviews along with live reviews and interviews.
When in 2012 the second incarnation of Jazz Views was launched after a six year break, Euan was immediately available to carry on his erudite and elegantly written reviews and has done so for the last ten years, with what would turn out to be his last contribution published less than a month ago.
Euan’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the music, and his belief in the fledgling Jazz Views website that he has played such an important part in developing, it is Euan’s design for the Jazz Views logo that we continue to use, has been invaluable.
All of us at Jazz Views will miss Euan’s contributions, and on a personal level I will miss his friendship and generosity of spirit that has shown me over the last twenty years.
He was a true connoisseur of the music, and a gentleman.