Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Trying to Keep Tempo with Jazz

One thing I have always wish I did better here in The Room is offer up a bit more discussion of different musical genres, particularly jazz. Sure, there have been the occasional post, but as I look back over the posts, this blog is definitely heavy in the indie-rock-folk-pop-etc. vein which does not necessarily reflect the balancing of listening that goes on here in the homefront. I think that is in part due to, at least, three things.
One, I haven't found a good way to write about music that I have listened to for a long time and have been more focused on new music. That is related to the second item which is that I don't buy as much new jazz as those other categories (or classical for that matter) which leads to the third reason, which is that I tend to think of jazz albums as having more staying power and therefore I am willing to listen to them more often over time and feel less need to search out more or new albums.
Now I believe I have a solution to the first problem which I will be trying my hand at soon. As for the third reason, while the staying power of certain jazz albums is accurate I think, it is also a mistake to assume there is not more and different efforts coming out that deserve a listen (which means I am just being lazy, right?). Which leads back to the second issue of searching out and checking out (literally) more jazz. So over the last few days, here and there, I have been trying to track down different resources for finding new jazz. Here are a few that I have found interesting and will be checking in with in one form or another.
In the obvious category, Downbeat is still the staple and serious consideration to renewing a subscription is occurring. Actually, I just need to do it, in part, because their website is, well, not really all that helpful, which I find curious.
The Checkout is an NPR a show by Josh Jackson about new jazz music which appears on the big jazz station WBGO streaming out of Newark, but The Checkout also has a great website where you can keep up with new music and hear live studio sessions like this nice interview and session last week with Gretchen Parlato whose new album is on the to get list. WBGO also has a fine blog for keeping up with the jazz goings-ons. And, of course NPR also has it's own blog devoted to jazz, A Blog Supreme, which is worth following.
Another interesting effort, which we recently tweeted about is Nextbop which is a site by two young guys trying to offer up jazz catalogs on line for folks to check out--although they have been running into a few hiccups that will be familiar to all of us who have been discussing post take downs, recording companies, and the ethics of what we try to do with music blogs.
Lastly is Jazz.com which has got a great aggregator page of perpetually updated links to all the jazz news that is breaking at other sites--just point and click. They also have a fine blog.
That is a start. Obviously there are a lot more out there and I would love to hear about resources you follow for jazz, whether they be print, web, Twitter or somewhere else. And hopefully, this will all lead to a bit more jazz talk here in The Room.

9/14/09 Update: A Blog Supreme just launched Jazz Now designed to introduce jazz artists of the present--great idea!


Lisa B. said...

I am always on the lookout for new jazz for J--new sounds, which he always appreciates (or at least he says he does--maybe he's just being nice!). I scour the end-of-the-year lists here and there, but I have found several very nice recommendations from the New Yorker. We found Jason Moran's Modernistic, which is beautiful; and also the Bad Plus I found that way--very cool. Glad for your recommendations--I'll start checking them out.

Of course, some of my best recommendations over time have come from you. You were the one to tell me about Brad Mehldau.

craig p said...

Thanks for the tip--just picked up my first Moran (The Bandwagon) based on another friend's rec, but haven't had a chance to really listen to it yet. I'll keep Modernistic on the list as well.