Friday, June 19, 2009

It may be time to close this thing down

I love jazz very much, and this blog has been part of that affair. I have provided songs hosted on to give my readers a taste of the music I am talking about, and to encourage them to buy the music for themselves. I never post entire albums. I get between 25 and 50 visitors a day. I do not participate in any of the infamous file sharing sites. I do not have a single piece of music that was illegally downloaded. All of the music I have posted here has come from CDs I have purchased, or music I downloaded from iTunes or eMusic. Most of the music I talk about and provide samples of has come from classic jazz albums, many of them decades old. My sole interest has been to serve the music and the muscians.

But now I have to worry about this:
A federal jury on Thursday found Jammie Thomas-Rasset liable in the nation’s only Recording Industry Association of America file-sharing case to go to trial, dinging her $1.92 million for infringing 24 songs.
I am very dubious about RIAA's strategy, but I certainly have to be concerned about it. I am going to consider alternatives to my procedure here. One might be to post portions of songs rather than the entire song. Another would be to invest in the equipment and software to launch a podcast.

I certainly understand the concerns of the recording industry. But I think this ridiculous award will do little to stem the tide of file sharing. That is a consequence of current technology, and it is clear from such events as Apple's decision to drop copy protection that resisting that tide has no future.

As I say, I haven't quite decided what to do. I had hoped that this blog would be a forum for discussions about jazz, but apart from a few gracious and intelligent contributors, that hope has not been realized. I really want to continue doing what I do here in some form, but I am not sure what that will be. But don't be surprised if much of this disappears, or goes away entirely. That will only be a small loss for jazz, perhaps, but jazz can ill afford small losses. At any rate, thanks to my readers and contributors. Meanwhile, watch this space.


  1. Some strange things are going on here. Why the RIAA is going after a single mother who shared 24 songs on some P2P network is beyond me, there are thousands of people sharing a million times more music. Perhaps they are trying to set an example? More information and interesting comments here:

    And here:

    Regarding the blog: I always loved reading it, sometimes replying on it myself. It's a shame that not more people are interested in discussing jazz music. But as you've sad, perhaps the Jazz audience is too small for these kinds of things. Trying to cut songs into pieces is a great idea, but I know this can be a time consuming affair, and I'm not sure that such a business is maintainable for up to 50 visitors. Anyway, good luck with your decision and take care!


  2. Thanks, André. You are my most faithful contributor. To my surprise, it was fairly easy to cut a selection out of an mp3 music file, as in evidence in the subsequent post.

    We'll see how it goes.

  3. Hey, I just wanted to drop you a note. I'm a college student in the Twin Cities, and happened upon your site while researching for a paper on Miles Davis a couple months back. I have very much enjoyed reading and listening to what you put on this blog, though I do not have much to contribute as of yet.
    I'm currently in the process of downloading Monk's complete Riverside recordings off emusic (it takes months with only 50 downloads a month!), thanks to your blog! He became one of my favorite musicians/composers of all-time after reading an article about him on here and checking more of his music out, as well as through reading Miles' autobiography (not often you get lumped together with Miles, eh?).
    Thanks for all you put into this blog! I don't miss a post!


  4. Thank you very much John. This is exactly what I hoped to do in this blog: turn people on to strong jazz. I will almost certainly continue in some for or the other.

    At the risk of leading you down the road to perdition, there is another way to get large box sets. Most libraries have inter-library loan, and a lot of libraries out there loan out cds. You might be able to get something like the complete Monk on Riverside by that route. You at least listen to it through once.

    Monk's music is fundamental to the human experience. I am very glad to have led you in that direction.