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Saturday, September 9, 2023

6,000 articles published ... a Milestone achievement

... is the number of articles that we published so far. A real milestone for us! We started calculating readers visits only since 2010 and we are close to 17.6 million individual views for our blog today. 

We want to thank all our reviewers who contributed to this achievement, and all the labels and musicians who sent us their material to listen to and to - hopefully - also review. 

We want to thank our current review team (in no particular order) for their great work and commitment: Sammy Stein, Martin Schray, Eyal Hareuveni, Gary Chapin, Stuart Broomer, Kenneth Blanchard, Tom Burris, Matthew Banash, Troy Dostert, Lee Rice Epstein, Fotis Nikolakopoulos, Gregg Miller, Guido Montegrandi, Irena Stevanovska, Keith Prosk, Matty Bannond, Nick Ostrum, Nick Metzger,  Ron Coulter, William Rossi, Sean McCarthy, Jury Kobayashi, and David Cristol.

We also want thank all reviewers of the last decade who contributed to the success of our Free Jazz Collective, including (again in no particular order): Colin Green, Daniel Sorrells, Ed Pettersen, Antonio Poscic, Chris Haines, Paolo Casertano, Joe Higham, Stefan Wood,  Derek Stone, Stephen Griffith, David Menestres, Nicola Negri, Daniel Boeker, Rick Joines, Eric McDowell, Joel Barela, Phil Coombs, Ed Pettersen, Antonio Poscic, Gustav Lindqvist, Taylor McDowell, Jim Marks, Anthony Simon, Flavio Zanuttini, Olle Lawson, Jack McKeon, Stanley Jason Zappa, and Guy Peters.

And the occasional yet equally valued contributors: Denti Alligator, Ananth Krishnan, Josh Campell, Matthew Grigg, Hugo Truyens, Julian Eidenberger, Peter Gough, Wendy Eisenberg, Connor Kurtz, Martin Selkelsky, Alexander Dubovoy, Kian Banihashemi, Spencer Friedman, William Kautz, Eric Stern, Phil Stringer, Matt Gagnon, Marinella Barigazzi, Paige Johnson-Brown, Katherine Whatley, Ian Lovdahl, Filip Bukrshliev, Landon Kuhlmann, Brian Kiwanuka, James Fleming, Brian Questa, Alfonso, Lex Phil Stringer, Monique Avakian, Steve Mossberg, Andreas Wildenhain, JA Besch, Cam Scott, Alfie Cooke, Joris De Roy, Tony Medici, Hinrich Julius, and Bryan McAllister. 

Writing good reviews requires time, not only to listen to the album several times, but also to digest it, to think about it, to let it sink in, and then to go back to it, to listen again, until you feel familiarity increasing, previously unheard things suddenly come to the foreground, or generally appreciate it differently. It also requires to select from the start. We receive - and buy - many more albums than we can ever review. Last year we had 1803 albums in our spreadsheet of already selected music that broadly matches our blog's profile. Today we are at 1472 albums for this year already. As a result we tend to review music that we appreciate at first listening, and discard the music that is not to our initial subjective liking (which does not mean it's bad ... it's just that it, at the moment, is not exceptional enough, not pallatable enough, not ferocious enough, or too ferocious, not surprising enough, not visionary enough ... or whatever suits the reviewer's first impressions). We also tend to go back to the musicians that we know or saw perform. Which is also logical and normal, but we also force ourselves to listen to new and upcoming talent, and maybe we should do this more often. On the other hand we know from experience that we helped many young musicians to get international exposure. 

Then comes the writing. We have no 'editorial policy' apart from being constructive and informative, but otherwise reviewers write what they want, without constraints in content or form or style. Freedom is our core attitude, in line with the music we review. But we have discussions about it: should it be longer, shorter, with more background or just a sketchy appreciation of what the music sounds like. 

We are not (with some exceptions) professionals, but most of us also have some musical background, but it's the passion for music that makes us listen and write. Is there anything more beautiful and fun than to be on the forefront, on the vanguard of where music is going? With all its boundary-breaking creativity, its new perspectives on aesthetics and emotional sonic power? We listen, we listen a lot, we listen intently. We enjoy what we hear. We like what we do. We love it. Keep the music coming. We'll do our best to review it. 

We also thank the readers for their ongoing interest, and we encourage you also to come with suggestions, comments and your perspectives on things. And ... if any of you feel the urge to write about what you listen to, and you have a good set of ears, an open mind and a good pen, feel free to join us as a reviewer.

Thanks!

Paul and Stef

 

7 comments:

Chris said...

Congratulations- Great news! I feel very honoured to have been a part of the Free Jazz Collective as a writer, and proud of the achievement that we have all contributed to as writers and readers of such great music. May the Free Jazz Collective continue to go from strength to strength.

Timothy Daisy said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Franz Pontiller said...

Warmest Congratulations to you Grandmasters, Great to be with You for years ....

joe.po said...

I have been a loyal reader for years and 'm always satisfied with the news and information regarding too free % improvised music I get here. Even if the comments are mostly rare, you can be sure that there are many loyal readers here present ... keep up the good work, you're unique!.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, you surely deserve it as one of the few top places to read about Jazz and Improvised Music. My morning read every day for years.

Wendy Lochner said...

I think I learned about you from the Music and More blog at least 10 years ago…it has been the most enlightening place of discovery of hundreds of artists, joyful accompaniment to my life. Thank you!

Johan Rosseel said...

Thank you so much for your tireless efforts to communicate about improvised and hand made music. It has been a real pleasure reading your contributions over all these yeras. Congrats.