John Szwed, the author of this year’s excellent Alan Lomax biography, Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World, has been appointed the director of Jazz Studies at Columbia. He was formerly a professor in the department. Prior to that, he was the John M. Musser Professor of Anthropology, African American Studies, and Film Studies at Yale for 26 years. Mr. Szwed is an anthropologist and jazz scholar. He is the author of 15 books including definitive biographies of Sun Ra and Miles Davis. The Man Who Recorded the World, aside from being the only major book devoted to Lomax that wasn’t written by Lomax himself, is also a great history of the field of ethnomusicology. We highly recommend it.