• New York is sad before it is BUSY…it is a kind of INVERTED GARDEN, with all the flowers blooming down in the BASEMENTS."    –Adam Gopnik

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06 September 2011


allen mezquida

These are great articles Eric. I've been following this topic on numerous blogs from the sidelines.

You're right on with this:
"Good jazz writing doesn't need to be about translating the music's technical process. It can be about how the music works on a more basic level, and that requires only big ears, not years of training."

I have some huge eared non-musician friends that technically hear in broad strokes only...ie: modal, bebop, blues, and certain standard forms. What they also have is the keen ability to hone in on the emotional truth of a recording..."how the music works on a more basic level". They hear (and prioritize) the essence of an artist and whether or not their mastery, or lack of, is communicating their deepest feelings. I trust these guys bullshit and beauty detectors over certain musician's points of view at times. Certainly their take away is more valuable than an academic analysis.

Expertise is very unquantifiable. To be able to trust your feelings in reaction to a work of art is not academic. It comes from loving the music and listening to it a lot.

Your point of view finally made me want to jump in on this topic as it articulated a lot of what is important to me in good jazz criticism. Great job man.

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