Jim Merod is an outstanding recording engineer who in the early 1990s founded BluePort Sound recording studio and BluePort Jazz, a label with 15 published albums.
For more than 25 years, he has recorded a “who’s who” of legendary jazz, blues, and Latin musicians: Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald, John Hicks, Sarah Vaughan, Kenny Barron, Clark Terry and Wayne Shorter, just to name a few.
Typically, Jim records “live” on location. A believer of the “less is more” philosophy, he uses as few microphones as the situation allows, and mixes everything “live to 2-track” right there and then at high resolution (24-bit, 96kHz in PCM format). Editing and mastering are kept minimal, also, to protect the essence of the live event.
Jim has written about music, recording, audio gear, and the jazz scene for the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union, Jazz News, the Jazz Link, Jazz Now, and other publications. He is currently a consultant for several media and audiophile projects in the US and Europe as well as an equipment reviewer for POSITIVE FEEDBACK. He teaches literature and humanities alongside his annual seminar in jazz studies at Soka University of America in Orange County. Throughout the ‘90s, Jim was a member of the Board of directors at the Napa Valley Jazz Festival and played a vital role in establishing Elario’s Jazz Club, in La Jolla, California, as one of the premier jazz venues on the west coast.
Jim has taught critical theory and literature at Brown, Brandeis, Cornell, Stanford and UCLA. He founded and directed Cornell’s Freshman Summer College and coordinated the Ivy League Writing Consortium. He has been a Fellow at the University of California, and the University of Hawai’i, and Cornell. Author of a book on critical theory (Cornell Univ. Press) and another on “Jazz as a Cultural Archive” (Duke Univ. Press), Jim has lectured at Williams, Notre Dame, Reed, Marquette, Emory, University of Pittsburgh, and several campuses of the University of California. Jim is the recipient of the Harvard Book Award, the Bausch and Lomb Science Award, a National Science Foundation grant for elementary particle research, and was recognized at Brandeis with the Michael Walzer Award for outstanding teaching. He has twice been honored as “professor of the year” at Soka University.
For more than thirty years, Jim has been an on-location recording engineer. In the early ’90s he founded BluePort Sound recording studio and BluePort Jazz, a record label that has twenty published albums. During his career Jim has recorded a “who’s who” of legendary jazz, blues, and Latin musicians: Tito Puente, Wynton Marsalis, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, John Hicks, Sarah Vaughan, Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Joe Lovano, Cassandra Wilson, Eddie Palmieri, Jimmy Rowles, Lee Konitz, Hank Jones, Benny Golson, Kenny Barron, Charlie Haden, Nick Brignola, Tommy Flanagan, Stan Getz, Tom Harrell, Harold Land, Cecil Payne, Roger Kellaway, Chris Potter, Ben Monder, Mary Stallings, Alan Broadbent, Art Blakey, Bill Perkins, Count Basie, Cedar Walton, Dave McKenna, Tierney Sutton, Pete Jolly, Kenny Werner, Jackie Ryan, Joe Pass, Bob Florence, Gary Foster, Buddy Collette, Gatemouth Brown, Clifford Jordan, Joe Wilder, Janis Siegal, Buster Williams, Barry Harris, Ben Riley, Snookie Young, Barbara Morrison, Eric Reed, Joe Labarbera, Art Farmer, Conte Candoli, Mundell Lowe, Kenny Burrell, Gene Bertoncini, Grant Stewart, Larry Koonse, Laurindo Almeida, Joe Diorio, Scott Hamilton, Ron Eschete, Ray Drummond, Jaime Valle, Paula West, Cleanhead Vinson, Joe Henderson, Sweets Edison, Red Rodney, Geoffrey Keezer, Louis Bellson, Bennie Maupin, Andy Bey, Bud Shank, Tardo Hammer, Betty Buckley, Don Menza, John Patitucci, Phil Woods, Shorty Rogers, Maureen Budway, Rick Helzer, Billy Mintz, Ruben Estrada, Roberta Piket, Ray Brown, Alex Acuna, Pete Christlieb, Los Lobos, Roy McCurdy, Billy Higgins, Christian McBride, Leon Parker, Gerald Wiggins, Charles McPherson, Herb Geller, Mulgrew Miller, Monty Budwig, James Williams, the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Orchestra, Paula West, Jon Mayer, Donny McCaslin, Ozomatli, Larry Fuller, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Akira Tana, Ignacio Berroa, Bill Mays, Martin Taylor, Gerald Clayton, Slide Hampton, Spike Robinson, Frank Strazzeri, Bob Magnusson, Johnny Coles, Larry Willis, Tigran Hamasyan, Lucianna Souza, Steve White, Claudio Roditi, David Sanchez, Brian Lynch, Ramon Banda, the Phil Norman Tentet, Darek Oles, Larry Vuckovich, Lenny White, Chuck Berghoffer, Nestor Torres, Putter Smith, Donald Bailey, Curtis Lundy, Luther Hughes, Cecil Taylor, Claudia Villela, Pee Wee Claybrook, Chuck Travis, Cliff Almond, Vince Lateano, Joanne Brackeen, Eddie Duran, Omar Clay, Claude Williamson, Steve Turre, David Williams, Donald Brown, Gary Bartz, Josh Nelson, Stephanie Haynes, John Proulx, Ricky Woodard, Larance Marable, Dorothy Donegan, Buck Hill, Hank Crawford, Dave Pike, Chris Howes, Zane Musa, Ratso Harris, Dave Carpenter, Bill Cunliffe, Jimmy Cleveland, Peter Sprague, Roland Hanna, Dave MacKay, Rick Margitza, Mark Ferber, Alan Dawson, Santi Debriano, Kenwood Dennard, Jeff Littleton, Jeff Chambers, Mel Martin, Hal Galper, Lori Bell, Rob Thorsen, Jimmy Madison, Larry Gales, Tamir Handleman, Gino D’Auri, Merrill Hoover, John Handy, Wayne Wallace, Duncan Moore, Gilbert Castellanos, Sweetie Mitchell, Havana Carbo, Verrnon Alley, Horace Tapscott, John Campbell, Hollis Gentry, Edmund Velasco, Sherman Fergusson, Gunnar Biggs, Bobby Gordon, Matt Zebley, Russell Blake, Tareon Gully, Julie Kelly, Sean Smith, Mikon Zlatkovich, Mike Wofford, Ron Whitlock, Greg Abate, Tom Warrington, Larry Nash, Henry Butler, Cecilia Coleman, Pamela York, John Wiitala, Tim Pleasants, Fritz Wise, Dean Taba, Frank Kimbrough, Robin Adler, Allan Phillips, Greg Douglass, Kendal Kay, Butch Lacey, Bruce Babad, Jose Serrano, Rob Schneiderman, Craig Handy, III, Gary Lefebvre, Tony Ortega, Tripp Sprague, Steve Situm, John Guerin, Daniel Jackson, Jeannie Cheatham, Michael Moore, Harold Jones, Lucrecia, TOLU, and others.
Jim received his undergraduate degree at Princeton and did his graduate work at Stanford, where he earned his doctorate in English & American Literature as well as the Special Program in Humanities. He studied with William Arrowsmith and Harold Bloom at the Breadloaf School, Middlebury College, and recently completed a novel, “Einstein at Princeton.” Jim endorses DPA microphones and Ultrasone headphones.