The Big Question

8

How many listens does it take to grok an album?

Read "How many listens does it take to grok an album?" reviewed by Doug Collette


A neologism coined by American writer Robert A. Heinlein for his 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1961), “grok“ is summarized in the Oxford English Dictionary as “to understand intuitively or by empathy, to establish rapport with" and “to empathize or communicate sympathetically (with)"; “also, to experience enjoyment." As a freelance writer devoted to music, the greatest of all art forms, I have the privilege of not only listening to a lot ...

33

What is your preferred music listening format?

Read "What is your preferred music listening format?" reviewed by Michael Ricci


This article was first published in April 2015. Compact disc sales are in steady decline as most younger listeners opt for streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube. Millennials are also the driving force behind vinyl sales growth (since 2008) as 9.2 million units were sold in 2014, up 51.8% from 2013. I was a heavy vinyl collector growing up, made mixtapes, dropped cassettes and vinyl in favor of CDs in the mid 1980s, then years ...

55

Is it OK for artists to pay writers for reviews?

Read "Is it OK for artists to pay writers for reviews?" reviewed by John Kelman


This article was first published in November 2014. When did it become acceptable or common practice for artists to pay for an album review? Recently, All About Jazz writers have been asked by artists--and with increasing regularity--if they would write an album review for pay. We have also encountered writers actively soliciting musicians to pay for reviews... and we think that's wrong. All About Jazz has a strict conflict of interest policy: those paid ...

15

Why don't more jazz venues present the music more in line with how people live today, rather than how they lived 60 years ago?

Read "Why don't more jazz venues present the music more in line with how people live today, rather than how they lived 60 years ago?" reviewed by Christopher Burnett


This article was first published in December 2014. I have pondered for more than a decade as to why most jazz venues don't present the music contemporary to the lifestyles of most people today. Some do. Progressive examples of such venues that come immediately to mind include, Shapeshifter Lab in jny: New York City and The Blue Whale in jny: Los Angeles. But, the fact is that jazz is primarily a listening experience where ...

48

Can jazz become culturally relevant again? If so, how?

Read "Can jazz become culturally relevant again? If so, how?" reviewed by Michael Ricci


This article was first published in September 2014. Welcome to the debut of a provocative new column called “The Big Question," a regular feature that is designed to get you engaged and talking about the important issues facing jazz today. And we begin with a topic that has weighed on my mind for as long as this website has been in existence: “Can jazz become culturally relevant again? If so, how?" Please voice your personal thoughts ...

13

Some of the freshest and most innovative music in the current day is coming from the jazz world. Why isn't this better known?

Read "Some of the freshest and most innovative music in the current day is coming from the jazz world. Why isn't this better known?" reviewed by Ted Gioia


This article was first published in May 2015. Jazz no longer has the same degree of influence or popularity nowadays. We shouldn't be surprised to see the public's musical tastes change over the decades. New styles come and go. But I must admit that I am still shocked when I hear young listeners describe jazz as old-fashioned, or treat it like a museum piece. As someone who listens to lots of new music in all genres—I spend 2-3 ...

6

Music and Evolution: Hearing Math, Seeing Sound, and other Unanswered Questions

Read "Music and Evolution: Hearing Math, Seeing Sound, and other Unanswered Questions" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Music and Evolution: A Brief Overview The evidence presented in the research on music and evolution, beginning with Darwin himself,[1] focusses largely on music's purported ability to support “mate selection, parental care, coalition signaling, and group cohesion," [2] language development, [3] and other things. The prevailing evolutionary theories about music follow Darwin's lead--they are predominately sociological, cultural, and behavioral in nature. Other researchers cite explanations that are more utilitarian: How did music evolve? Here, we show ...


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