[JPL] NYTimes.com: Rhythm, Among Other Things, Is Their Business

MFT Jazz mft at mftjazz.com
Mon Nov 28 21:55:55 EST 2005


I'm reminded of Duke Ellington's response when so-called experts would 
attempt to dissect his music, "That kind of talk stinks up the joint." 


-- 

*Russ Neff
/My Favorite Things/
**http://www.mftjazz.com* <http://www.mftjazz.com/>


Larry Appelbaum wrote:

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>> Mmm-hmmm - oh-kay, but did he LIKE Mr.Meldau's trio?   ..... it's 
>> hard to tell in this kind of veiled review.   Does this kind of 
>> article leave you wondering what really happened, and/or is the 
>> writer not really sure?  Which brings us to the musical question, 
>> should reviewers be reviewed,  occasionally?
>> I'm just positing the question for the purpose of discussion, here.  
>> What do you think?
>
>
> Jim,
>
> Interesting questions. What exactly is the role or responsibility of 
> the critic or the reviewer? Is it to report on what happened at a 
> performance? Make value judgements? Provide context for analysis? 
> Articulate an opinion? Promote an agenda? Simply saying whether you 
> like something or not, and why, can be very useful in a crude thumbs 
> up, thumbs down kind of way. It certainly helps some people make 
> decisions about whether to buy a recording or attend a show and that 
> alone is enough for most publications. I happen to like Ben Ratliff's 
> writing, not just because he expresses himself well, but because he 
> likes a lot of different kinds of music and he isn't just reinforcing 
> the gospel of the jazz nerd (and I say that speaking as something of a 
> nerd myself). The best writing about music or art (or architecture for 
> that matter) enables us to see, hear or experience something in a new 
> way.
>
> As for your other question about whether reviewers should be reviewed, 
> you might want to take a look at Bill Shoemaker's website 
> http://pointofdeparture.org. He's one of the only people trying to do 
> that. Of course, this sort of thing can easily become an exercise in 
> ax-grinding or settling old scores, but it can also help shed some 
> light. Better newspapers have an omsbudsman. Maybe the jazz press 
> needs something similar?
>
> Larry Appelbaum
>
>
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