The Blogosphere Hearts Joe Morris

October 29, 2009

Excerpts from recent blog reviews of the Joe Morris Quartet’s Today On Earth (AUM Fidelity):

“The music, performed by Morris (guitar), Jim Hobbs (alto saxophone), Timo Shanko (bass) and Luther Gray (drums), holds up quite impressively under repeated listenings. The tracks are fairly long (4 over 10 minutes and only 1 under 7), but several of them move so gracefully (‘Observer’, ‘Ashes’) it’s easy to get lost in the sonic world the quartet creates. It’s been over 3 decades since Joe Morris first came to critical notice and he continues to grow as a composer and musician, creating challenging music for open minds.”
Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant’s See! Hear!

“Joe Morris is having one of them crazy years. Nothing can seem to stop him, as he is releasing one CD after another. The latest—and best!—one is this studio session with his quartet. One of the best jazz albums of 2009.”
François Couture, Monsieur Delire

“Four of the seven tracks on Today On Earth clock in at 10 or 11 minutes, and all of that time is well spent. Of his recent releases, this album is one of the best place to start (behind the Flow Trio), since its places his adventurous improvisational chops in a setting that makes them stand out even more.”
Mike Shanley, shanleyonmusic

“…the main strength of the album is the truly wonderful compositions, which are refined, carefully structured, compelling and beautifully performed…here [Morris’] playing is much closer to the traditional jazz guitar, and I must say, it suits him well. And the band is absolutely stunning, in its pretenseless, unassuming playing, yet delivering a rare level of combined accuracy of tone and interaction, giving space, dialoguing well, giving the right emphasis at the right time, and adding loads of emotional depth: truly great. But as said, the real treat are the compositions, with themes like ‘Animal’ or ‘Observer’ that will keep ringing in your head long after you’ve stopped listening to the music.”
Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz

iC Media Poll Results: Part 1

July 20, 2009

Age group chart

We recently asked 50 prominent writers and editors working in the jazz arena to complete a survey, with a special effort made to reach out to as diverse a sample as possible.

We asked them about their preferences for receiving information, how and where they listen to music and their interaction with publicists among many other things.

Not everyone had the time or inclination to respond, and not everyone who did chose to answer every question put to them, but the results were quite enlightening.

The questions were distributed into five categories and we’re going to examine and share the results one category at a time on the blog this week.

The first section deals with general demographic information, including age, location, job description, income and blogging habits (i.e. where their work is published).

As you can see from the graphic above, the respondents represented a well-balanced cross section of ages from 26-65. Only one person who answered this question fell into the 18-25 group and no one was older than 65. The 26-35 and 46-55 groups each generated the highest number of respondents with 26.5%.

Then we asked people to choose the term that best describes their work in the world of jazz/improvised music from a list of five (blogger, editor, freelance CD reviewer/feature writer, publisher/Web site owner and other).

Job description

In keeping with expectations, the most popular answer was CD reviewer/feature writer, which was chosen by 47.1% of respondents, more than doubling the next most popular answer, which was editor. Only 3% referred to themselves as primarily bloggers.

Over 17% chose Other, but basically used that write-in space to pick more than one job or use a term synonymous with one already offered.


In a somewhat surprising turn, 79.4% of those surveyed said they were paid to do the job they specified and only 35.3% have a full or part-time job in another industry that accounts for their primary income.

Finally, we asked about blogging habits.

Blogging habits

35.3% said they have a personal blog, and 38.2% of those people reported publishing their articles and reviews on those blogs.

Work blogs

Also, only 26.5% of those surveyed contribute to blogs hosted by the jazz publications/organizations they work for.

The data gets a little more interesting as we move forward. It paints a clearer picture about what an artist, label or publicist is up against when trying to get the limited attention of today’s music journalist, especially when it comes to how much music these individuals see and hear in a given month and how it is presented to them.

Tomorrow’s post will cover the second category: Web and print habits. It focuses on what writers and editors are reading, how they access that information and how it influences their own work.