Archive for December, 2011

I Got The Collection Blues


I have a confession to make: I am one of the six people left in the world who still buys CDs. Yeah, I know, its kind of embarrassing, and trust me, I’ve heard everything that you’re about to say a hundred times before. I know they cost me money, I know they take up space, I know that you believe there is no real difference in sound between mp3 and CD. But the fact remains that I like CDs. I like the way they sound when you pop one into the car stereo and crank it up, I like that slight bit of tension when you try and remove the disc from its case for the very first time, and for a second it looks like you won’t get it out without it snapping. I like the way I can line them all up and see, right there in front of me, a collection of all the sounds that make me feel good. But I’m not really here to talk about the merits of physical versus digital distribution of music; that is a useless argument in which no amount of touchy-feely bullshit will ever change minds. The vast majority of people will do what is easiest, and that will always be the case. The reason I mention CD ownership is not as a starting point for some kind of anti-digital hate spray, but instead because the actual spending of money on music, and the resulting physical presence in my home, set me thinking about something that is equally applicable to a digital collection. All that…stuff – it’s kind of scary.

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The Paul Grabowsky Sextet at 505

Jazz, to the layman at least, isn’t known for its compositional style. In the dictionary definition sense, jazz is considered purely an improvisational form of art; through musical interplay, the musicians form a collective consciousness which allows their individual performances to take on a much grander form, greater than the sum of its parts. Yet this is not to undermine the role of the composer, whose role in a jazz band is to direct and tap into the explosive potential of his performers, a trend most famously associated with Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. Continue reading