Sunday, January 2, 2011
Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (and Happy New Year)
Another year, another blog. This is either the last one of 2010 or the first of 2011, depending on your point of view – or mine I suppose. It’s been an interesting year in terms of writing the blog – with the arrival of Google Stats I’ve been able to see which posts created the most interest and were the most read. And reading the stats taught me that I often completely misjudge which topics are of the most interest to readers. A quick look at the stats for the year give me the following top five:
1. The post about great jazz musicians playing on terrible ‘jazz’ recordings by classical musicians looking for a bit of street cred
2. A post about the possibility that Bill Evans influence has slid somewhat off the jazz radar of young musicians
3. Elvin Jones – the perfect drummer?
4. The recordings that Steve Coleman and Dave Holland made together
5. Child Prodigies in Jazz
The post about the jazz/classical thing was by far the most read post on the blog, which I guess makes sense since there is a whiff of a rant in it and it names names a bit – everyone loves controversy! The child prodigy post also provoked some interest. But the three of the top five most popular posts were about well known figures in the jazz world, which tells me that people still prefer to read about what, or whom, they know. For myself, although I’m interested in all my subjects, I often find the stuff about the actual music – structural, conceptual, philosophical, technical things – to be the most interesting things to discuss. But my readers seem to prefer to read about the musicians who play the music rather than read about the music itself.
One interesting aside came from someone commenting on the Bill Evans post, who said that it had come as a relief to him that this post was less ‘angry’ than my normal efforts. Angry!? Me!? Disputatious maybe, a malcontent quite possibly – but angry? Hmmmm....... interesting. I’m quite conscious of not trying to personalise things unless I feel I can’t make my point any other way, and though I do get angry about some aspects of the jazz world, I try and reign in my baser instincts and remain within the bounds of civilised discourse. The classical musician post was about as close as I get to a rant – I think! It’s definitely interesting to see yourself as others see you sometimes.
One thing I do recognise is my tendency to be a bit verbose sometimes – I fight against it but I tend not to be able to get out in under 5000 words. This will probably be the shortest post of 2011........... I’ve got an interview with Steve Coleman coming up that’s huge – but at least on this occasion the post is huge because Steve is being verbose rather than me.
Thanks as always to everyone who read the blog over the past year, and particularly to those who took the time to write and express their opinions – I really appreciate you taking the time and am flattered by your interest.
Next up for me – and no doubt some kind of report will feature on these pages – I’ll be heading off to New York for a week or so, to see some music, meet lots of friends and bring home my new custom-made bass – a pretty good way to start the year.