All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Digital Music

January 19, 2008

Out Of The Oven, Into The Computer: 30 Years Of Canadian Jazz Concerts Now Free Online

By MARK SABBATINI

Talk about jazz that really cooks: Thirty years of Canadian concerts are being offered free online by a Toronto radio station that made it possible by baking the original analogue tape reels. The Canadian Jazz Archive at jazzarchive.ca features all of JAZZ-FM91's Sound Of Jazz concert series since they began in 1976, with performances in streaming audio by hundreds of national musicians and other materials such as documentaries about prominent artists. Jessica Humphreys, director of funding and community outreach for the station, said the concerts were played once and put into storage, but eventually there was a risk ...

Read More
November 13, 2006

Longtime Masters Showcase Exclusive Digitial Release at New Online Store

By MARK SABBATINI

Guitarist Frank Vignola has never downloaded an MP3, but that isn't stopping him from launching a new online store featuring unique albums with some of his favorite players.

VMdownloads.com by Venture Music, launched with an initial collection of eleven albums and more scheduled for release soon, features a number of just-recorded projects by Vignola, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Ascione and others in mostly small guitar-oriented groups. In many ways it feels like a musician's music store, with players cranking out projects without strong commercial considerations and selling them without the frills typical Web consumers might expect.

“This ...

Read More
April 1, 2005

Is it random or is it Memorex? Landmark ruling may make all online music sharing 'legal'

By MARK SABBATINI

The odds of a randomly generated audio file matching a standard-quality MP3 of “So What" are roughly one in 326 trillion.

By coincidence, a $2,000 Dell PC can now generate that many numbers in two hours and 43 minutes.

Those numbers, argued in extreme technical detail, are the basis of a March 30 legal ruling that may end the dispute about illegal file sharing by making it impossible to prove songs in MP3 and similar formats are obtained illegitimately.

Fourth Federal District Court Judge Reept Otreep dismissed a lawsuit by the Recording Industry Association ...

Read More
March 12, 2005

"Stealing" Music Legally at allofmp3.com

By MARK SABBATINI

Some might argue that, like teen drinking or sex education, the only responsible option for this Russian site offering albums for pennies on the dollar is declaring it unacceptable.

But, much like those issues, I believe it's inaccurate and irresponsible to ignore it, since the temptation will be too great for many to resist. If they're going to indulge, they should do so in an informed manner.

I've known about www.allofmp3.com for some time, but refrained from writing about it largely because I suspect it's escaped the notice of online music fans legit and otherwise. Those ...

Read More
January 16, 2005

Report from CES: A Future Studded with Rhinestones

By MARK SABBATINI

I have traveled into tomorrow. It looks a like lot today, with decorative rhinestones.

No radical leaps in the digital music world appear to be coming soon if the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is any indication. Increasing numbers of companies hoping to cash in on the iPod's success are offering their varieties of players, accessories and services, but people set on something today probably don't have to worry about it becoming immediately obsolete.

A few developments such as portable satellite radio and discs allowing listeners to adjust instrument levels to their taste look ...

Read More
January 7, 2005

Shredding and Sitting at CES 2005

By MARK SABBATINI

So this is the future: After breaking a leg using a high-tech snowboarding parka to switch between an iPod and cell phone in mid-air, gear geeks can recover in a lounge chair equipped with full-blown Surround Sound circuitry.

Priceless.

Actually there is a price, probably a rather steep one, for those hoping to indulge in the latest technology unveiled this week at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. An enormous range of digital music products and predictions are part of the four-day show that begins Thursday, Jan. 6, although ultimately there doesn't appear to ...

Read More
January 6, 2005

The Future of Digital Music: A Preview of CES 2005

By MARK SABBATINI

So far the greatest discovery from a sneak preview into expensive future technology is free and long outdated stuff.

Going through endless press releases and agendas for the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas reveals lots of hype about surround-sound MP3s, walkman-like satellite radios and other advances designed to let people listen to virtually anything anywhere - along with concerns about legal issues involved. From this one learns tidbits such as how lots of modern European recordings - including classic jazz - are now in the public domain because copyrights there expire after 50 years.

Read More
January 2, 2005

Best Online Bets of 2004

By MARK SABBATINI

This is the year I became a believer.

I've been downloading music for years, mostly a few novelty or sample tracks here and there. But 2004 is the first year where my purchases of online music clearly exceeded traditional CDs.

And the amount of free and legal music may have surpassed both.

As someone who works and stores his music collection on the same computer, downloading was a near continuous process during the past year. Those tempted to do the same, be warned - even collecting freebies isn't always cheap: My bill for external ...

Read More
December 8, 2004

Mixtaper.com

By MARK SABBATINI

Sometimes it's a great thing getting a reminder of one's ignorance.

Stumbling upon these user-created collections of free music downloads, usually compiled from different sites and grouped into virtual “albums," exposes an entirely new genre of site foreign to me despite years of scouring the Net for files. Maybe it's just associating the “mix" thing with the vapid techno/sampling remixes littering sites everywhere, but Mixtaper's genre-sorted collections fixes that perception in seconds.

Jazz fans, for instance, can download “It Came From The Public Domain," a collection of 11 songs recorded mostly during the 1920s and '30s ...

Read More
November 27, 2004

A Gift From The Internet: Free Holiday Music

By MARK SABBATINI

Those dreading malls in December, perhaps so much so that shopping remains unfinished Christmas morning, the Internet offers the sweet sound of salvation.

Holiday music, both free and commercial, is one of the easiest to find from multitudes of online sources, offering a chance to relax rather than shop the day after Thanksgiving or obtain a quick gift at literally the last second. Offerings also go well beyond worn-out retail store concepts such as the latest “Very Special Christmas" collection and - perhaps not surprisingly for a season emphasizing charity - freebies tend to be more prevalent than ...

Read More
August 30, 2004

The Washington Post's Free MP3 Download Site

By MARK SABBATINI

With campaign season in full swing, sacrificing an evening with the Washington Post becoming wise in the ways of our nation's capital seems reasonable. And it reveals a clear path in these times of a sharply divided electorate:

Pledge allegiance to those following a Duke.

That would be candidate Ellington in this case, as music fans willing to invest nothing more than a few hours clicking a mouse can become a voice of authority about the jazz scene in the legend's home town. The Post is now offering free MP3 downloads at its web site, which ...

Read More
August 27, 2004

Finding Monster Bargains at Online Music Stores

By MARK SABBATINI

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

For 99 cents you can download a one-hour live performance by trumpet star Wynton Marsalis and his septet. Or a few seconds of him suggesting audience members use the restroom first.

The same spare change buys more than 30 minutes of Miles Davis, or a moment of him chatting in studio with various personnel. And a mere 25 cents is all that's needed for an hour-long session with Bill Evans as he discusses and demonstrates his technique.

They are among the hard-to-find gems representing in ...

Read More
August 26, 2004

A Guide to Online Music Services

By MARK SABBATINI

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

There is no ideal online music store and it's less likely all the time there ever will be. But properly used they can provide some of the greatest moments any music fan experiences.

At their best it's hard to top the immediate gratification of getting a sought-after album or song for pennies on the dollar. Less aware customers, however, can spend vast sums on downloads that turn into nothing more than unplayable files wasting space on a hard drive.

Such services are a better supplement ...

Read More
August 16, 2004

Finding Free and Legal Music Downloads on the Internet

Read "Finding Free and Legal Music Downloads on the Internet"

By MARK SABBATINI

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Here's a strange thought: Free music downloads available legally are better than what the masses are stealing.

Either allows jazz fans to collect a diverse library large enough to listen to indefinitely, especially since more is constantly put online. Those going the legal route can't be as selective--the latest Norah Jones or Kenny G album isn't there--but much of what's available is, well, priceless.

And, yes, a lot of it is dreck.

Live performances by some of jazz's biggest talents, work by underrecognized ...

Read More