"There are many roads to jazz, as any collection of fans will demonstrate. But for many of those fans, whose age today can fall anywhere between 10 and 80, that road has been paved with issues of DownBeat magazine.
Over the decades it has instructed, recommended, criticized, praised, condemned, advocated and, in the aggregate, honored the most dynamic American music of the twentieth century. Millions have been led to records and artists on the strength of a DownBeat review, news tip, or profile. It has shaped young tastes in need of guidance and challenged older ones in need of a wake-up call. In the 1930s, before any important book on jazz had yet been written, DownBeat collected the first important body of pre-1935 jazz history. It became a monthly, then semi-monthly, a diary of the swing era as it happened, then tracked the progression of bop, pop, rock, freedom, fusion, and nineties neoclassicism, all from the perspective of the musician. Hard to believe it began by selling insurance".