Vinyl, CDs, MP3s, streaming?
I'm not a format purist at all. Some time back, my still-growing CD collection exceeded my vinyl. Not sure how many CDs I have but it's well north of 1,000. My vinyl collection (including some I inherited from an uncle who was a jazz fan) numbers a bit below that. I do listen to mp3s on my iPod, but they are all CDs I uploaded to iTunes from my collection. I sometimes play vinyl when I'm in a nostalgic mood, but most often I reach for a CD. As for streaming, I have only just dipped my toe in that water. It started when WBGO moved its transmitter (and maybe some tall construction in Jersey City and Manhattan got in the way) and my in-home signal got worse. Nothing I tried seemed to help. So now I stream WBGO from an old iPad. Just this week I dipped into Spotify. It's OK for casual listening, but the free tier lacks the ability to play albums in order, and of course has those jarring commercials. My main concern as a fan of the music is that Spotify doesn't pay the musicians enough. I will probably go on the paid tier but, as my wife says, it probably won't cut down on my CD purchases, because I want to support the musicians.
On the subject of record collecting...I should probably add this to my list of vices. I have been at various times involved in radio. In college, I was Program Director for a college radio station, worked in sales at an adult contemporary station in Binghamton NY, and now I do volunteer work during pledge drives at WBGO. Being around radio has made it possible to add to my collection by picking up duplicates and things that didn't fit the format If you were a professional musician, which instrument would you play and why?
I would probably want to play something I could carry with me pretty much anywhere I go. Guitar, or maybe small percussion instruments. The techie side of me is thinking maybe DJ-ing. What's your desert island disc?
I don't want to overthink thisit's very close to a Sophie's Choice question for me. And I have a lot of "children." For some reason, "Sketches of Spain" comes to mind. What do you think keeps jazz alive and thriving?
It's the artists. And the fans. And by fans, I include the record label people, the bookers, venue proprietors, journalists, publishers, and audiences. Finish this sentence: Life without music would be...
...like life without a heartbeat.
Photo credit: Carmen Balentine