New year, new blog. Written for my own interest, out of curiosity to see what impressions I set down in a year’s listening to live music. After 30 years of the gig habit, one gets more conscious that stuff fades away. Can I recall anything much of Gil Evans in 1978 in Manchester? Abdullah Ibrahim at the RoundHouse? Old and New Dreams in Hammersmith? Can I, hell. Even the Sun Ra Arkestra in Stokes Croft is fading, and that was only last November… Joanna MacGregor’s Messaien marathon before Christmas has, not displaced it exactly, but remains clearer in the memory.
Audio souvenirs would be better, but words might serve. I mainly want to see what it adds up to over 12 months, to help think about why I seek out live music so often, and if the habit of setting down how it seemed enhances it at all for me. It would be a journal, I suppose, but a blog is just as easy. So let’s do that just in case it is of interest to anyone else. If not, and it is simply an echoing archive of one listener’s thoughts, then also good…
And “mainly”? Well, jazz is usually the object of the excursion, but other stuff catches my ear too. And I live in Bristol, so mainly there but with occasional excursions to Bath, Cheltenham or even, (oh my), London, my previous home for half a century or so.
Oh, and er, terms of trade. I am not a musician, so I will mainly enthuse here. I care about this stuff, a lot, but I am not bent on criticising anyone doing things which I could not do myself – on account of a startling absence of facility on any instrument I have tried. I’m listening for good things and, on the whole, if I don’t care for what I hear I will let it pass without comment. Here, I am more interested in being a reflective listener than a critic.
That is my starting point anyhow. I am a critic in other (usually science-related) spaces, though, so may find this credo wavers. My other blog and website will tell more about that but are not particularly relevant here unless you are curious about me. I do review the odd gig, for Jazzwise and LondonJazz, though, and those occasional, more evaluative bits will appear here labelled as such.
Jon Turney Jan 2009
Update – Jan 2012. See this post for new blog outlook – and invitation to contribute, if anyone wants to do some jazzwords…