iC Media Poll Results: Part 2

July 20, 2009

Print publications

Today we explore the results from the second of five sections of our recent survey of 50 prominent jazz writers and editors.

This section, called Web and print habits, asked about the jazz-related publications, blogs and Web sites these professionals are reading, how they access them, and if what they read there impacts their own work.

As shown in the chart above, we first asked respondents to indicate which of the eight major jazz magazines they read on a regular basis. The list, which featured English-language publications only, included AllAboutJazz-New York, Cadence, DownBeat, Jazz Improv, Jazziz, JazzTimes, Signal To Noise and The Wire. We also made it possible for people to write-in any other publications as well.

The clear winner was AllAboutJazz-New York with 54.5%. The runner-up was Signal to Noise with 51.5%, followed by DownBeat and JazzTimes, which each scored 48.5%. The Wire (39.4%) and Cadence (18.2%) were next, while Jazziz and Jazz Improv each scored less than 10%.

One write-in vote each was cast for Cuadernos de JazzCoda, Improjazz, Jazz Journal and Ritmos del Mundo.

Print influence

We then asked if the coverage in these publications influenced the respondent’s own work (i.e. discovering new releases, coloring their judgement of artists/releases, etc.).

The results (above) were clear as 85.3% answered in the affirmative.

Web sites

Next we asked which jazz-related Web sites respondents visit on a regular basis, again spotlighting eight popular choices and giving people the chance to write-in any others they prefer.

AllAboutJazz.com was the clear favorite with 77.4%, with AllMusic.com finishing a close second with 61.3%. Next came Bagatellen with 32.3%, followed by Jazz.com and NPR Music, which each earned 29%. Avant Music News (16.1%), Jazz Corner (12.9%) and PopMatters (6.5%) also got multiple votes.

A significant number of write-in votes were cast for blogs, which we tackle in the next question, but Point of Departure was a popular choice (an admitted oversight on our part), as were Pitchfork and Dusted.

Web influence

Again, the majority (82.4%) indicated that the content of these sites influence their own work.

When tackling the subject of blogs, we asked respondents to list five of their favorites. Oddly enough, more than half skipped this question completely, and only 37.5% filled in all five slots. Some even dedicated one or more of the slots to expressing their dislike for reading and/or discussing blogs at all.

The calculations don’t apply to write-ins, but the most popular choices were Destination: Out, Do The Math, Free Jazz, Jazz Beyond Jazz, Lerterland and Secret Society.

Blog influence

But this time, when we asked if what they read on these blogs influenced their own work, only 44.4% said yes.

Blog access

When it comes to accessing the blogs they read, the Web is by far the most popular way with 94.1% giving that answer. Using a built-in blog reader in one’s browser and using a stand-alone RSS feed reader represented the rest of the vote with 8.8% each.

Twitter account

Finally, we asked if any of the respondents have a Twitter account.

Unlike with the blogs, everyone who took the survey answered this question, but only 35.3% said yes.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the third section of our survey, Personal Listening Habits, which features questions about writers’ interaction with jazz radio, their preferences for format (CD, MP3 and vinyl) when purchasing music for personal use, and the amount of music they purchase in a given year.

Please stay tuned!

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New Cadence Reviews

July 16, 2009

Cadence_cvr
The Jul/Aug/Sep 2009 issue of Cadence arrived to subscribers this week, and with it a number of enthusiastic reviews of our clients’ recent recordings.

Here are a few highlights:

In his review of Garrison Fewell’s Variable Density Sound Orchestra (Creative Nation Music), Phillip McNally writes, “Using the blues and improvised melody, Fewell’s sextet creates something like a completely tonal yet free music…the results are solid, approachable and at the same time richly complex…I for one would love to catch this Variable Density Sound Orchestra live.”

“I unhestiatingly give Muse my highest recommendation,” declares David Kane in his review of The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra‘s second release. “She claims Maria Schneider and Bob Brookmeyer as muses but, to my ear, she has already equaled and perhaps surpassed these august icons in sheer musical sophistication. It’s quite clear on the evidence of this recording that Ayn Inserto has a bright future ahead of her.”

Jay Collins calls David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM Fidelity) “intensely personal, with a spiritual directness that looks to India, but, also, with an outcome that is surprisingly accessible. Ware remains faithful to his sense of purpose and direction, while also offering sounds that are palatable enough for folks that may have been overwhelmed by previous work.”

“This band has an impressively wide range of textures to draw upon,” explains Stuart Kremsky in his review of William Parker’s Double Sunrise Over Neptune (AUM Fidelity). “The infectious and insistent rhythms of the ensemble draw you right in, and the pleasing density of the band keeps you there. Parker’s projects as a leader invariably result in some of the most rewarding and creative music being made by anyone, and this gem is no exception.”


Cadence Reviews

June 8, 2009

Cadence_cvr

After an extended layover on the floor of the Gouverneur, NY post office, the Apr/May/Jun 2009 issue of Cadence arrived to subscribers this past week, and with it a number of enthusiastic reviews of our clients’ recent recordings.

Here are a few highlights:

David Kane calls the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) “a satisfying farrago of compositional and performance delights” and “a challenging set of captivating original tunes.” He adds, “This is aggro music with enough fire and drive to fuel the energy needs of a small African nation…forward looking, intelligently conceived aggressive jazz.”

In his review of the Mary Halvorson Trio’s debut, Dragon’s Head (Firehouse 12 Records), Philip McNally writes, “In her notes to this recording she mentions, surprisingly, that this is the first time she has written for the standard guitar trio. I find it hard to believe, as Dragon’s Head is so accomplished a recording. This is post-Bill Frisell guitar, a new voice on the instrument, and for that alone you should hear it.”

“It’s an adventurous, unexpected tribute,” declares David Dupont in his review of the Yoon Sun Choi/Jacob Sacks Duo’s Imagination: The Music of Joe Raposo (Yeah Yeah Records). “Choi impresses equally, whether clowning around and summoning inner animations or singing heartfelt lyrics. All this sets the lyrics in striking relief, wrenching them from their familiar context.”

Petit Oiseau is an album that simultaneously celebrates jazz tradition and looks beyond it,” proclaims Michael Coyle in his review of the William Parker Quartet’s latest release. “This quartet has been playing together since the turn of the milennium and has that kind of rapport where they complete on another’s thoughts and finish one another’s sentences. Each member contributes sensitively and powerfully to the ensemble sound.”


The Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds Coming May 19th

February 24, 2009

Playscape Recordings is proud to announce the May 19th street date of the first release on its 10th anniversary schedule, the Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds (PSR#020109). 

The follow-up to 2007’s The Treatment (PSR#050607), his trio’s critically acclaimed collaboration with renowned violinist Mark Feldman, this release finds guitarist/composer Michael Musillami augmenting his seven year-old trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran. 

The full group will tour the Northeast U.S. in support of the record in May and the core trio will tour Western Europe in late March.

“Composing and arranging all new music for a cohesive group that combines vibes, trumpet, and alto with a guitar trio meant taking things to a whole new level,” explains Musillami in the From Seeds liner notes. 

“Joe, George and I have come to trust each other completely on the stand.  The drama and constant shifts in environments can be both frightening and beautiful, and I didn’t want to lose any of the close interaction we’ve developed over the past seven years.  I needed three players with the sound, experience and confidence to not only play this music, but also put their stamp on it without taking away from what the trio does best.  Marty, Matt and Ralph were perfect choices.”

“Guitarist Musillami is really on a roll lately, documenting a number of high quality sessions on his Playscape label,” declared Cadence reviewer Jason Bivins.  Critics called his most recent, The Treatment, “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, Absolute Sound), “an intensely rewarding and conceptually promising avenue for the future of jazz” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and “as convincing a statement of what’s still possible with the instrumentation as anything I’ve heard in years” (Brian Morton, PointofDeparture.org). 

It was also included in best-of-the-year lists in AllAboutJazz.com, Cadence, Coda, the Hartford Courant, Jazz Review and the Village Voice.

Musillami has been called “a superior guitarist” (John McDonough, DownBeat), “an adroit and creative musician” (Michael J. West, JazzTimes), “a fine composer of notable original music” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide) and “a modern-day jazz master” (Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal). 

“His compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity,” explained Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, “and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean.”  The Boston Phoenix‘s Jon Garelick adds,  “Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else.”

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Musillami has worked extensively as a performer, bandleader/composer and educator.  In addition to his flagship trio with Fonda and Schuller, which has performed in the U.S., Canada and Europe and released three CDs since 2002, he has earned critical notice as the leader of groups ranging from duo to octet featuring such prominent collaborators as Cameron Brown, Thomas Chapin, Drew Gress, Mario Pavone, Michael Sarin and Matt Wilson. 

He is also the longtime Director of Jazz Studies at The Hotchkiss School and founder/director of the esteemed Playscape Recordings label, which has released more than 40 distinctive recordings over the past decade.  Learn more at http://www.michaelmusillami.com


Creative Nation Music In Cadence

January 15, 2009

In addition to the results of the 2008 Record Poll, the latest issue of Cadence also features a bevy of reviews of events and recordings related to Boston’s Creative Nation Music label.

Stu Vandermark, in his final column as the magazine’s uncommonly dedicated Boston correspondent, reviewed both Eric Hofbauer & The Infrared Band‘s November 2nd concert at The Lily Pad in Cambridge, and the label’s day-long event (featuring master classes and concerts) on November 6th at the Cambridge YMCA.

Vandermark credited Hofbauer’s working quartet with “another fine and memorable set of music” and wrote the following in regards to the Fewell/Hofbauer Duo‘s performance a few days later:

“Every time I witness these two superb guitarists work together I think of what a loss it is that they do not have a weekly gig somewhere to satisfy both musicians and fans who need a solid guitar fix. There’s all the technique that students could devour, and then there’s the fine music for the rest of us.”

Later in the same issue, Michael Coyle, reviewing The Infrared Band’s 2008 debut, Myth Understanding, declared, “I’ve always had a weakness for records that combine conceptual hi-jinks with sensusous sounds—records that hit both head and body—records that are complete musical experiences. On Myth Understanding Eric Hofbauer and his Infrared Band offer just that. This record is rewarding on every level.”


2008 Cadence Record Poll

January 15, 2009

The Jan/Feb/Mar 2009 issue of Cadence arrived yesterday and with it the results of the magazine’s annual Record Poll.

Bill Dixon’s 17 Musicians In Search Of A Sound: Darfur (Arts for Art/AUM Fidelity) earned the fourth place slot in the Readers’ Choices Poll (only nine votes behind the winner three slots above), as well as a full-page review further on in that same issue written by Jason Bivins.

Bivins wrote, “Put briefly, this group doesn’t once (collectively or individually) commit the cardinal sin of large ensemble group improv: overplaying.  Rather, they listen, leave space and make each dynamic shift count as they realize Dixon’s dark musical vision.  That vision emerges in great detail, thanks firstly to a quite rich and colorful score, but also thanks to a very clear recording.”

In the Critics’ Choices Poll, for which contributors choose their 10 favorite releases covered in one of the magazine’s four 2008 issues, Jay Collins picked Mario Pavone’s Trio Arc (Playscape Recordings) and Jason Adasiewicz’s Rolldown (482 Music), Michael Coyle chose Eri Yamamoto’s Duologue (AUM Fidelity), and Michael Rosenstein selected Peter Evans’ The Peter Evans Quartet (Firehouse 12 Records). 

Congratulations to the clients listed above and all those recognized in the poll results.


Reminder: Michael Musillami Trio + 3 To Make NYC Debut January 31st

December 31, 2008

 On Saturday, January 31st, guitarist/composer Michael Musillami‘s newest ensemble, the Michael Musillami Trio + 3, will make its New York debut at Cornelia Street Cafe.  The group will be performing new original music, which it will then record the following day for its forthcoming May 2009 release on Playscape Recordings.  The Michael Musillami Trio + 3 augments Musillami’s longstanding core trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran.

“Guitarist Musillami is really on a roll lately, documenting a number of high quality sessions on his Playscape label,” declared Cadence reviewer Jason Bivins.  Critics called his latest, 2007’s The Treatment, featuring his trio with violinist Mark Feldman, “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, Absolute Sound), “an intensely rewarding and conceptually promising avenue for the future of jazz” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and “as convincing a statement of what’s still possible with the instrumentation as anything I’ve heard in years” (Brian Morton, PointofDeparture.org).  It was also included in best-of-the-year lists in AllAboutJazz.com, Cadence, Coda, the Hartford Courant, Jazz Review and the Village Voice.

Musillami has been called “a superior guitarist” (John McDonough, DownBeat), “an adroit and creative musician” (Michael J. West, JazzTimes), “a fine composer of notable original music” (Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide) and “a modern-day jazz master” (Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal).  “His compositions develop in leisurely style from quiet simplicity to intricate complexity,” explained Jack Massarik in Jazzwise, “and the ensemble playing is civilized, sophisticated and clean.”  The Boston Phoenix‘s Jon Garelick adds,  “Musillami sounds familiar—this is swinging jazz guitar, after all—but not quite like anyone else.”