Friday, November 20, 2009

Jazz On The Web

Big buzz circulating this week about the future of in the wake of founding editor Ted Gioia's decision to step away from the project. Since Ted hasn't commented yet on the future of the site (and his silent partner/investor hasn't stepped forward) any speculation is just that. Some blog posts have pondered what this means for the future of jazz on the Web—and while I gave a moment's thought to how much I'd miss Ted's vigilant aggregation of jazz posts around the world (and thanks, Ted, for picking up the occasional piece from Jazz Chronicles) if that doesn't continue under whoever takes over his job—I don't think there's great cause for alarm. While there is still no viable business model for a large, expansive site like, I'm convinced that there will always be enthusiastic people who want to spread their passion about the music they love.

That idea was reinforced (again) when I read Robert Hilburn's chatty autobiography, Corn Flakes With John Lennon. Like myself, and thousands of other music nerds out there, Hilburn got involved in music journalism because he saw a void. In his case, it was the early 1960s and the setting was Los Angeles, but it happens over and over, in big cities and small: you hear something that moves you and you want to share it—and your opinions and passion about it—with others.

So, while Ted Gioia's knowledge and steady editorial hand will be missed—and will be missed, too, if Ted's departure signals its end—I'm convinced that someone else will step up and fill the hole he leaves.


mrG said...

considering some of what passed for journalism on that site (cf I'm sorry to be the cantankerous one, and much as maybe Ted was a nice guy and all, and while I might check him out should he go off someplace elsewhere, nonetheless, if it vanished tomorrow, is in no way a site that I'd miss.

James Hale said...

As noted, I've used more for its site aggregation role than anything else. I was always somewhat skeptical about the track-centric reviews since I just don't think that's the way most people listen to improvised music, and haven't followed the blog that you link to in your comment. Have to admit, that Sun Ra entry is fairly silly.