Destination: Out Offers Exclusive Bill Dixon Track

December 3, 2009

Late in the day yesterday, Destination: Out posted its review of Tapestries for Small Orchestra, Bill Dixon’s new three-disc set on Firehouse 12 Records, and with it an exclusive download of an alternate take of the track “Motorcycle ’66”.

The review calls the set “thoroughly stunning” and goes on to add, “Dixon presents gorgeous, slow-moving tableaus, highlighting the range of sounds and textures that the trumpets and cornets can produce. Charged yet sedate, unhurried in the extreme yet never ponderous, it’s mature music that is all too aware of the passing of time; the passing of time is in part what this music is about.”

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Exclaim!: John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey + Carl Maguire’s Sided Silver Solid

August 6, 2009


David Ryshpan reviews Firehouse 12 Records‘ latest releases in the new issue of Exclaim!

He calls bassist/composer John Hébert‘s Byzantine Monkey “a strong debut of a new band of old colleagues.” The group, which is also called Byzantine Monkey, features saxophonists Tony Malaby and Michaël Attias, flautist/clarinetist Adam Kolker, drummer Nasheet Waits and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi.

In his review of Sided Silver Solid, the second release from keyboardist/composer Carl Maguire’s longstanding group Floriculture, he writes, “the new, expanded version of the group provides him with a vast range of colours at his disposal, and Maguire dispatches the various combinations effectively.”

He adds, “The front line of violist Stephanie Griffin, with her background in contemporary classical music, and Oscar Noriega’s alto sax and clarinets blend in novel ways with Maguire’s piano, bolstered by the rock solid rhythm section of bassist John Hébert and drummer Dan Weiss. The tunes are marked by angular yet captivating melodies.”


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!


Mary Halvorson An Artist To Watch In 2009 Says Canada’s Exclaim!

December 16, 2008

The Canadian music and culture magazine, Exclaim!, has named guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson one of its Artists To Watch in 2009 in the December 2008/January 2009 issue.

Ms. Halvorson is one of the three artists chosen in the publication’s Destination Out section as part of its Year in Review.

Nate Dorward writes, “Her new trio disc Dragon’s Head shows off her tough, richly atmospheric picking, full of just-right dissonances in the tradition of Monk or Andrew Hill. It also reveals a striking composer, her tunes elegant networks of gear-changes, silences and felicitous repetitions that are less a personal style than an entire musical language.”