Archive for the 'Thoughts' Category

August 19th 2013
Tips for musicians about websites and more

Posted under Thoughts

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I highly recommend that you not have music that plays automatically on your site. Here’s why:

  1. You should never make someone’s computer do something they didn’t ask for.
  2. I’m often listening to music as I browse and this turns it into cacophony.
  3. For people who work in office settings, suddenly having music blaring from their speakers can be a problem. (Ditto people with sleeping children, etc.)
  4. But primarily #1. If I want to hear your music, I’ll press play.

BONUS NOTE: It IS possible to have a Dynamod site that doesn’t play music automatically. I’ve seen them! Make it so. That said, Dynamod sites have other issues that make them unfriendly to journalists and people like me. But at least you can turn off the music.

Some other things to consider:

  • MySpace is dead. Even if it’s being revived, it’s dead. No more MySpace sites.
  • An out-of-date site is a very poor calling card. Keep your site updated. For example, your bio should not list as “forthcoming” a CD that came out three years ago. Your gig calendar should be current.
  • Enter your CD name and track titles in online databases so reviewers and programmers don’t have to.
  • Never send a CD to a reviewer without track names and a personnel listing. This actually happens.
  • Put your email address on your website, NOT a contact form. People want to know they’re reaching you, and they want a record of their sent message in their email client. (NOTE: If this is you, Bono, you can keep the contact form.)
  • Your bio should not just be a long list of people with whom you’ve played or, worse, with whom you’ve “shared the stage.” Tell me about YOU.
  • If you have a Twitter account & haven’t tweeted in weeks or months, you don’t have a Twitter account. Also, you should have a Twitter account and use it. You’d be surprised how effective it is.

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April 26th 2010
Tonight (4/26): Come see me read in Albany, NY

Posted under Thoughts


This poster says 7:30 p.m., but it starts at 8 p.m.

I’m the featured poet tonight at Poets Speak Loud at 8 p.m. at the Lark Tavern, 453 Madison Ave. in Albany, NY. It’s an open mic, too. Sign-up starts around 7, so bring your own work along. I’ll be reading from my just-released book, Unexpected Sunlight (FootHills Publishing, 2010). Hope to see you there!

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April 19th 2010
Buy my book!

Posted under Thoughts

My first collection of poetry, Unexpected Sunlight, is now available. The poems talk of love, family lost and found, music and musicians, and scenes from everyday life. These poems were written between 2006 and 2009. I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you.

You can read poems from the book (and other poems I’ve written) at jasoncrane.org. The book is now available in the store at my site.

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September 27th 2009
Jazz Now: Jason Crane’s five recent jazz CDs for new listeners

Posted under Thoughts

Recently, the fine folks over at NPR’s A Blog Supreme have started asking young jazz aficionados to recommend five recordings from recent years that they would give to someone who was just getting into jazz. I’m much, much too old to have been asked to be a part of the series (clocking in at an ancient 36), but here are my contributions anyway:

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March 27th 2009
Article: Bucky Pizzarelli

Posted under Jazz Writing & Thoughts

My latest article for The Island Packet newspaper is a short biographical sketch of Bucky Pizzarelli. The posted piece is significantly shortened, but you’ll get the idea.

bucky

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November 16th 2008
“Sonny Rollins Is A Work In Progress”

Posted under Thoughts

Bret Primack made this video to showcase Sonny’s new CD and DVD. It includes a very cool conversation between Sonny and drummer Roy Haynes:

When you’ve watched this, check out my Election Day interview with Sonny Rollins.

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October 31st 2008
Birth of the Cool

Posted under Thoughts


Thanks to the wonderful blog BAGNews Notes for the link

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October 3rd 2008
Hayden Carruth (1921-2008)

Posted under Jazz News & Thoughts

Poet and jazz fan Hayden Carruth died this week. He wrote a lot about jazz in both poems and prose. Here’s an example, courtesy of George Thomas, host of Jazz In The Evening on Vermont Public Radio:

The Fantastic Names of Jazz

Zoot Sims, Joshua Redman,
Billie Holiday, Pete Fountain,
Fate Marable, Ivie Anderson,
Meade Lux Lewis, Mezz Mezzrow,
Manzie Johnson, Marcus Roberts,
Omer Simeon, Miff Mole, Sister
Rosetta Tharpe, Freddie Slack,
Thelonious Monk, Charlie Teagarden,
Max Roach, Paul Celestin, Muggsy
Spanier, Boomie Richman, Panama
Francis, Abdullah Ibrahim, Piano
Red, Champion Jack Dupree,
Cow Cow Davenport, Shirley Horn,
Cedar Walton, Sweets Edison,
Jaki Byard, John Heard, Joy Harjo,
Pinetop Smith, Tricky Sam
Nanton, Major Holley, Stuff Smith,
Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan,
Mr. Cleanhead Vinson, Ruby Braff,
Cootie Williams, Cab Calloway,
Lockjaw Davis, Chippie Hill,
And of course Jelly Roll Morton.

From Doctor Jazz (Copper Canyon Press)

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, George will be featuring a jazz tribute to Hayden Carruth on his show. You can listen online.

As I mentioned, Hayden Carruth wrote quite a bit about jazz. Many of thsoe prose writings (and a poem or two) are collected in his book Sitting In: Selected Writings on Jazz, Blues, and Related Topics. That book is available at Amazon.com:

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September 25th 2008
JazzWax

Posted under Thoughts

If you like jazz, you must start reading JazzWax right now. I mean it. Go there now. I’ll wait.

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September 15th 2008
Nina in clay

Posted under Thoughts

I saw this years ago in an art-house movie theater that was showing short films. It’s been in my brain ever since, but it never occurred to me to look it up on YouTube until today. Enjoy Nina Simone singing “My Baby Just Cares For Me” in Claymation:

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September 15th 2008
Brian Priestley on criticism of free jazz

Posted under Thoughts

Debutgh1.jpgI was listening to Albert Ayler’s wonderful album Ghosts (aka Vibrations) recently, and decided to look up some reviews of the record. Brian Priestley didn’t like the record very much, but he did have this interesting bit to say at the end about criticism of “free jazz.”

(From Jazz Monthly No. 178 – December, 1969 (?)) – UK

As Charles Fox said recently, in so many words, the only trouble with most of the “new thing” is having to listen to it. I never found any problem in accepting the idea of “free jazz” intellectually, and I find most of the arguments used against it to be fallacious. To describe it as “anti-jazz” is definitely out, if only because the term “anti-novel” was employed ’way back in 1839! To say that “They don’t know what they’re doing” is illogical, because the statement merely proves that the listener doesn’t know what they’re doing. And it’s no use saying, for instance, that Albert Ayler’s tone is patently ridiculous, because so is all jazz to the genuine outsider; all the most moving noises which we treasure mean nothing to millions of people. Even with the most basic vocal music, the sound of Bessie Smith bellowing is as incomprehensible and potentially embarrassing to the uninitiated as the sound of Edith Piaf emoting. In fact, however much some jazz writers may attempt to deny or ignore the fact, the only way in which appreciation of any kind of music can be cultivated or deepened is by the realization, whether conscious or unconscious, of the musical laws by which it is governed. I just wish someone would tell me what laws govern Ayler’s music. — BRIAN PRIESTLEY

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