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Thread: Has The Internet Helped Jazz?

  1. #1
    AAJ's Barrel Roller xricci's Avatar
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    Has The Internet Helped Jazz?

    I'm sitting in on a discussion panel at the upcoming IAJE convention--the topic is "Has The Internet Helped Jazz?".

    If you work in the industry and the internet has had a positive impact on your career or business (generated additional sales, landed you a gig, helped you make important contacts, etc.), please post your comments here.

    I plan to cite some examples during the discussion and will mention you by name if I use your story.

    * * * * * * *

    If you're attending IAJE and aren't hungover, please stop by the panel. Here's the day/time...

    SATURDAY, JANUARY 24

    10:00 a.m.

    Panel: Has The Internet Helped Jazz?

    Moderator: Bret Primack

    Panelists: Michael Ricci, Ben Allison, Leni Stern, Frank Tafuri.

    Location: New York Ballroom A, Sheraton Hotel

  2. #2
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    I think it definitely has!
    I've learned a lot about famous and not-so famous jazz musicians on the internet. Sites like this one and the ex-mp3.com have vast knowledge on the jazz music scene which would otherwise be much harder to acquire. It's very easy to stream a song for you to judge music like at mp3.com and it's easy to discuss various musicians and music styles on sites like this. Without the internet I think jazz would be far less understood and popular than it is.
    I also think the internet could have a negative side in that it may be too free and easy a way for musicians to express their music, hence a lot of garbage music associated with jazz yielding a bad-rap image. If you listen to some of the upcoming musicians that classify their music as jazz-style, some have very little quality and skill to their music and are around longer than if they had to make live auditions and performances like jazz musicians of old had to do. I guess I'm trying to say that the internet lowers the 'weed-out' filter that musicians had to deal with in the past.
    Overall though, I think the easy accessible information and music far outweighs the 'too-free' point.

  3. #3
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    I've no idea how it has affected musicians.

    But I know the range of my jazz interest has increased hugely in response to sites like AAJ, Organissimo, the old Blue Note and Jazz Online boards. I knew little continental European jazz beyond the ECM label before reading recommendations on these boards. Australian jazz would not have got a look in.

    It's one thing to read a single review or entry in a book like the Penguin. But to read a vibrant debate or series of enthusiastic posts on a recording or performer really increases your curiosity.

    And then online retailers have put the entire in-print catalogue within easy reach.

  4. #4
    Beyond Category gdogus's Avatar
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    What Bev said.

    First, the internet has no doubt increased jazz CD sales. Sites like AAJ promote the music in ways that non-internet media can't manage. Debate and discussion in forums like AAJBB pique my interest, and that of others. Online retailers provide the means for me to buy the music that certainly wouldn't be available in any of my local stores.

    It's also a lot easier to find information on jazz shows and festivals with various online calendars and artist websites - so I'd guess that live jazz has been helped by the net. Even if live jazz venues are disappearing, they're probably lasting longer than they would have without the internet.

  5. #5
    Not Dead kenny weir's Avatar
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    I'm with Bev on this 100%.

    Sites such as AAJ and JC - and their bulletin boards - have changed the world for me. I'm not saying internet interaction is a complete replacement for face-to-face friendships or communication, but it no longer seems such a big deal that so few of my neighbours-work mates-friends are into jazz.

    And, unlike my efforts to find out about and engage in music in the '70s and '80s (with all the attendant lag time from living in NZ/Oz, a lack of local releases and the perilous process of importing stuff), these days I feel it's easy to be well-informed and pursue your curiosity and interests more or less at will - no matter where you live.

    There's always an expert at hand!

    (It's a sign of those times that I never buy those expensive and not-really-very-switched-on jazz mags these days).

    I'll be interested in seeing if such virtues are mirrored by the experiences of the musicians we love. I'm sure the jazz life is still a hard and demanding one, but I suspect the internet will have made a major impact.

  6. #6
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    Without any doubt is has had an influence on my love and access to jazz related stuff. Without the AAJ board I would have been unable to find out information about all kinds of things about jazz. The ability for the internet to facilitate instant discussion on albums, issues related jazz etc makes it real and relevant, far more than any jazz magazine or book.

    It allows the exchange of ideas from people all over the world in an instant, and this creates all kinds of possibilities. The fact that we are able to contribute to this thread, from all over the world is what makes it so important, it has created a world wide community for people intersted in jazz and that is very impressive!

    Regards

    Andy D.

  7. #7
    tulip or turnip? shawn·m's Avatar
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    Edit: Oops, just realized that this thread is intended for industry insiders of which I am definitely not. Comments deleted.

  8. #8
    AAJ's Spammer Exterminator Tenorman's Avatar
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    I am not an "insider" although I do organise the odd gig (very odd some might say), but I would say that the internet is a help to up and coming artists. It also has the potential to become a hindrance.

    Artists friends of mine have their web sites which contain photos details of the their "books" and perhaps some song samples. A good advert that could only be achieved otherwise by doing a CD with an expensively produced insert and hawking it round potential bookers (i.e. Scatter-gun approach) Expensive with a low hit rate.

    The downside is that a lot of artists are not computer literate, and don't know how to get sites indexed to pop up on Google searches, so if they rely only on the site, and it is not properly set up, the site receives few hits.

    The hindrance bit is how can someone actively searching separate the good from the garbage. As more people set up sites, it is the best linked sites which will pop up, not necessarily the best musicians

  9. #9
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    Yep just realised that this was for the 'industry people', sorry I posted

    Regards

    Andy D.

  10. #10
    Not Dead kenny weir's Avatar
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    Hold on, hold on - don't slink away into the night you guys. I guess I am involved in the "industry", but only as a glorified fan. And besides, anyone who posts regularly at a joint like this I'm sure has something valuable to contribute to a thread such as this.

    And if all that isn't persuasive enough, try this: It wouldn't be the first time a thread has been hijacked. Mike can just start another one.

  11. #11
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    Kenny.

    You are such a rebel I am battered and bruised after playing rugby today, but I think you are right and I am 'involved' in the industry as well!

    Regards

    Andy D.

  12. #12
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    Some while before he died, Mel Torme wrote an article blaming the moguls running the radio-tv media for the decline of jazz and the rise of rock. Boiled down,his basic argument was that you can't learn to love music you've never heard.The cry of the moguls is that they program music guided by popular taste,and do not create popular taste. By now thats a variant of the chicken or the egg argument. (Personally I think that'hs crap but I don't mean to address it)
    It goes without argument however that the amount of jazz on radio (or tv) is minute. With developments on the internet, however, one can listen to jazz stations both in the US and abroad. How to get those ignorant of jazz to make that effort is a question whose answer I surely don't know, but the music is there,available for the taking.That availability is surely a step forward for jazz.
    It wasn't there before the internet.
    Even those knowledgeable about jazz can bless the internet and those sources allowing sampling of unfamiliar jazz artists and styles. I've been listening to jazz since I was a kid, and although I live only a couple of hours from NYC , I live in a jazz desert. For example,I had never heard Nicholas Payton play until I was able to sample his work on Apple's iTunes. Same with misses Krall and Reeves. Until iTunes and a similar sampling on Amazon, there was no possibility for me and other jazz lovers to listen,even partially, to new musicians or a wider variety of jazz styles.That is,without buying their cd's with no idea what they're like.
    Frank

  13. #13
    Registered User GA Russell's Avatar
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    The internet has helped me learn about and better appreciate an artist's catalogue. Instead of just a list of album titles, Amazon.com offers samples and reviews. The All Music Guide offers a chronological list of recordings.

    I see this to be an extenuation of Fantasy's adding to their OJCs Ira Gitler's brief explanation of what you are listening to.

    The other benefit for me has been the ease in purchasing an album no longer popular. With Amazon and its competitors, it's as easy to order a forty year old album as it is a heavily promoted new album. Makes no difference to them.

    And one other thing. As a member of the BMG Jazz Club, I can peruse their entire catalogue, so I order what I want most rather than what is most attractive in their recent flyers.
    www.russellmoon.com

  14. #14
    Registered User justHerb's Avatar
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    I've been in the internet/music business for the last 5 years and I think it has had a positive impact for the most part. As a means of communication it's been used to alert fans to local gigs and new releases. The number of small artist owned labels has also increased; look at someone like Tim Berne and his Screwgun label for example.

    "Jazz" can be pretty daunting for the newcomer and the internet allows them a 'safe' entry by listening to sound clips online or downloading specific songs/artists to audition before buying. Let's face it most so-called Jazz radio is useless.

    Just yesterday I was looking at a Japanese site that had just about every single Blue Note LP cover ever made. I sent it to a few friends and every one of them responded that they saw a few things they needed to get. The internet has been great for collectors (ebay etc.) and especially completists.

    Boards like this one allow fans to participate in the tried and true "if you like X you should hear Y." I did this when I was working in a record store before I got into the online world and I still think it's the best way to promote new music. The company I work for aggregates music information and cross references it for just that reason. You'd be surprised how many Sonic Youth fans have crossed over into William Parker territory vis the internet.

    If you have any specific questions feel free to ask as I'm just rambling at this point.

  15. #15
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    i play in a big band and the advertising on the internet has expanded our range from playing in a radius of about 50 miles to a radius of 200 miles. no longer having to rely on word of mouth or local advertising the internet has made it possible for us to perform from philadelphia to hamilton and rochester new york to southbury connecticut and fort lee new jersey from our home base in northeast pa. as far as being a fan, just the cd's i've purchased over the past few years because of recommendations on this and other jazz boards have had an impact on my jazz life and my pocketbook. i regularly peruse djangomusic, secondspin, and other used cd sites as well as the usual large new sites and the not so large indie sites.
    support your local jazz club

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