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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blog to Blog

I just saw where Ethan Iverson - without doubt the most respected jazz blogger around (at least as far as writing about the actual music is concerned), mentioned this blog in a round-up in his always fascinating 'Do The Math' blog. Which is nice since it was reading Ethan's blog that originally inspired me to start writing myself. As I mentioned in a post called 'Musicians on Music' I felt that far too much of the jazz writing online was being done by non-musicians - or maybe it would be fairer to say that far too little was being written by the guys in the trenches, and too little of the musicians' own voices was being heard. A combination of this belief and seeing, via in particular a blog by Ethan on Lennie Tristano, (which was on the old DTM site and will be over on the new one soon apparently), how good it could be when musicians write in depth about what they really know, that inspired me to start writing.

Interestingly - to me anyway! - Ethan, in speaking about the blog says the following:

Actually, I’m pretty sure Ronan and I disagree about nearly everything in jazz from A to Z, and look forward to looking him up in Dublin sometime and arguing all night long over some Jameson.

Actually I'm not so sure we would disagree quite as much as Ethan thinks we would - or at least I can say that I rarely read his writing about the music and violently disagree with what he says. For example I really enjoyed his recent post on the 'Great Jazz Trio' recordings with Hank Jones, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, since these are recordings I know really well and bought on LP back in the 80s when they were originally released and have lived with for a long time. He wrote very well about them and what he said pretty much jibed with my own opinion on those recordings.

But obviously, if I agree with much of what he writes, the same can't be said for his view of the opinions I express in my blog! Since he doesn't write comments on other people's blogs (as far as I know, and it's a stance I can completely understand. It's so easy to get sucked into stuff and suddenly, BAM! - the whole night's gone........) I'm not sure which part(s) of my A-Z of jazz he disagrees with, but I look forward to the all-nighter the next time he's in Dublin, (probably minus the Jameson though - for me anyway..........).


  1. Getting musicians to do anything beyond music is a handful like cat herding. I'm lucky in that both Matt and Steve are musicians as is Ras Moshe, my other affiliate still in the wings.

    Stanley Zappa regularly hits comments and he, too, is a musician and nephew to a far more famous one.

    Then I have music students comment. I promised Lewis Porter years ago I'd use the medium to give musicians a forum and presence as a priority...I'm an advocate.

    But most don't get around to participating in basic profile q and a's or much of anything. What you mainly see is a few artists using blogging as a self promotion method.

    People like you who are artists and educators with a clear and genuine interest in advancing discourse are very very rare.

    I'll allow that my silly blog isn't that significant but it now feeds directly to All About Jazz where I've become a data editor.

    That site is huge, 8 to 9 hundred thousand readers a month reading 12 million pages and still, getting participation from musicians is a cat herding thing unless they favor a public presence, again as an aspect of promotion.

    See above: You are very very rare.

  2. Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I'd like to write like this also - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate alot and never seem to get anything done...


  3. Nice reading your remark/concern involving DTM and Ethan Iverson. It seems (to me) that not all musicians (and artists in general) agree, what would we all discuss otherwise?

    I don't agree with everything that you say on your blog, however that's what makes it so interesting to read. To follow in the same direction would mean there's no need for separate blogs, you could just have one 'big' blog where everyone agrees ........ fortunately this is not the case!

    Keep up the great blogging.

  4. Thanks to all for commenting - I appreciate you all taking the time, and I agree Joesh - it would be dull indeed if we all agreed! And Chris - dealing with musicians is like cat herding? You're absolutely right!