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You Know You're a Jazz Reviewer When...

Ken Dryden By

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You know you're a jazz reviewer when...



  1. After you check the mail, your spouse asks "Do I live here?"

  2. You get 800-1,000 CDs for review within a year, yet you still get the inevitable email follow up from a little known artist or his/her publicist a week after the CD arrives that asks "Have you heard it yet?"

  3. You have ever had to repack review copies of CDs received during IAJE from your luggage to your carry on bags at the airport to avoid overweight charges.

  4. You've figured out a filing system for your growing, immense collection of jazz CDs, but not how to sort all the press bios that come with promotional CDs.

  5. You look forward to the occasional liner note assignments, though they inevitably come at the biggest crunch time of your schedule, when you're already committed to deadlines for various articles, reviews, interviews, etc.

  6. You've ever put aside a new CD at home for a moment and eventually have to ask the publicist for another copy when you can't find it after a few weeks.

  7. Your eyes automatically roll whenever you get yet another self-produced CD by an artist unknown to you, with musicians who are equally unfamiliar, that is filled with originals.

  8. You find yourself wishing someone involved in creating CD copy would bother to learn how to properly spell the names Cannonball Adderley, Sarah Vaughan, Lew Tabackin, Richard Rodgers and Willard Robison, along with verifying the correct identities of the composers and lyricists for each song.

  9. You get frustrated when you want to bring along lots of new jazz CDs on a long road trip, but your spouse has other listening preferences.

  10. You don't mind spending ten days resting at home after surgery, since it gives you lots of time to catch up on listening to unheard jazz CDs.

  11. You've long since quit trying to count how many jazz CDs and LPs you own.

  12. You never have to look for a padded envelope.

  13. You have a huge stash of thick rubber bands used by the postal service to bundle all of the padded envelopes of CDs together.

  14. You finally get around to listening to a review copy of a CD that was never assigned to you for review, only to discover it is either out of print or the label has folded.

  15. When you discuss the possibility of adding new shelving in your home for your growing collection of jazz CDs, LPs, DVDs and books, your spouse replies, "I don't have to live here."


Footnote: Ken has been collecting jazz since 1973, happily married since 1980 and writing about jazz since 1988.

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