by: David Jennings

There's an interesting article on jazz blogs in yesterday's New York Times (registration may be required shortly), which touches on several themes that I cover in the book:

(image © Lars Klove for the New York Times)

the use of blogs to articulate fan opinions and enthusiasms about music;

  • the use of wikis to collate multiple perspectives and provide a collective view;
  • the combination of these 'bottom up' media to re-animate neglected works (the Long Tail);
  • obsessions with lists.

It's a neat story in the sense that an argument kicks off in one blog and becomes a conversation when other blogs start to respond with their own suggestions. (The topic is how to arrive at an overview of the development of jazz since the end of the Vietnam war, including the best albums of the period.) It culminates in the list at the Ear of the Behearer wiki. Perhaps it's uncharacteristically neat, as the development of blogs and wikis is often more chaotic than this. Nate Chinen, the NYT writer, is perhaps waxing a bit lyrical when he describes "the year’s most animated public discourse on jazz, a democratic exchange" but it's a good story nonetheless.

I find many jazz blogs to be among the best MP3 blogs — they are well-written and articulate — and I discovered the NYT article via Destination: Out. I also regularly read the WordsAndMusic jazz blog from the UK, and, in a different way, the BBC Jazz Blog is worth keeping an eye on.

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