Monday, August 01, 2005

Jazz and blogs: a sad case of mutual neglect


Arts Journal recently added their first jazz blog, Doug Ramsey's Rifftides. The other three music blogs are about classical music. Quantitively, AJ is a fair representation of the classical:jazz ratio. There is an abundance of classical blogs by instrumentalists, singers, composers, critics, industry people and fans, for which jazz has no equivalent. A few examples (discounting those already on my blogroll):

Pianist Jeremy Denk's Think Denk, one of the greatest music blogs I've come across. He pretty much achieves that Holy Grail of musical discussion: the junction between subjectivity and objectivity, what is heard and what is felt. And it's superbly written.

Sequenza 21 brings together a lot of different voices (fans, composers, performers) in animated debate and provides a portal to many composers' blogs.

Opera singers Tomness and Canadienne are lively and insightful.

And there's no point even going into the various shades of pop blogosphere. There is simply nothing like this in the jazz blogosphere (or, more precisely, there is almost no jazz blogosphere), and I really can't figure out why. The threads by Robin Eubanks, Dennis Gonzalez and Ellery Eskelin on JazzCorner are active and are sort of halfway blogs, but it's not the same thing, since they're mainly Q & As.

Guitarist Gary Lucas has a blog, a rare thing among well-known (and even little-known, it seems) jazz (?) musicians, AFAIK. The Bad Plus used to have a nice blog which all three members contributed to, but it's been deleted and not replaced by a blog on their official site, as was promised. Saxophonist Chris Kelsey's blog used to be about music and some of the posts were awesome. Now, not only has he switched to berating Republicans, he's also erased the old, interesting archives. A sad loss. Still, there are jazz blogs, here are a few more, in no particular order:

David Valdez (I've just found this one, a musician blog, it looks very good)
Josh Roseman (a rare musician blog, but it's... idiosyncratic)
musicircus (Rob seems to be talking about jazz more and more frequently)
Jazz & Blues Music Reviews
Jazz Thinks
The Jazzcat
Jazz Writer
Chromatic Musings
The Jazz Authority
I f00k for jazz
Armwood Jazz Blog
Xanax Taxi

And then there are podcasts. I haven't had time to find the really good ones yet, but pianist DD Jackson has started one. He speaks fast, which should be unsurprising to those who've heard his music. Another good one (at least, the two parts of the Dan Balmer interview I've heard are good) is Portland Jazz Jams.