Many thanks to Chris Rich of the blog Brilliant Corners for including The Jazz Session right at the top of his site.

If you’re not familiar with Chris, you should be. He blogs frequently and fearlessly about jazz as an art form and as a business, and I always find his take on the music refreshing and original. Chris also goes out of his way to build a community of jazz fans, musicians and writers, and that’s important work.

Back in November, Chris asked me to participate in his occasional profile series. Here are the results.

So thanks, Chris. The jazz world is better with you in it.

UPDATE: This short post prompted some nasty comments, which is too bad. But it also prompted an interesting post from Chris Rich, which is good.

Author: Jason Crane

16 thoughts on “Brilliant

  1. I especially enjoy his Amazon ads, which I navigate around to read his rants on corporate shills. Hilarious!

    And the Amazon ad for Strunk & White at Lavelle’s subliterate posts say more than words can.

    I really enjoy Jazz Sessions, and offer this belated thanks

  2. Oh Jeesh Dean, I like being able to make it easier for people to find the things I write about and the Amazon Google partnership is perfect. Ad sense is less useful. And you weren’t paying attention. There are no ads in any Lavelle posts because those are his and he has his own tracking codes. Nice try though.

    If it’s any comfort, they don’t work particularly well and no one ever buys anything but I like being able to play with the enhanced display thumbs. I have to genuinely like what I add so it is actually a true endorsement.

    Matt’s ‘subliteracy’ is wildly popular. It isn’t all that different in form from Samuel Beckett or Louis Celine structures with a bit of Kerouac stream. What a horrid world it would be if everyone wrote like Henry James.

  3. I hadn’t read Dean’s post clearly (except for the last line) when I wrote my thanks. Dean, I’m glad you’re a fan of The Jazz Session, but I’m certainly not in agreement with your other comments.

  4. It’s not a matter of ease, it’s the hypocrisy that’s so entertaining. Condemn major labels (often justifiably) but support Amazon, which single-handedly closed more family and small bookshops than the Blitz? It won’t fly.

    And nice try with Lavelle (who I’m sure is a fine musician) but Celine and Beckett were capable of writing like James, they chose not to. Lavelle is just incapable.

    Don’t make him a bad guy. But he is subliterate; don’t bend too far over backwards.

    Still love Jazz Session

  5. If you look closely at Amazon’s structure, it has become a hub for resellers, i.e the small stores. I have never yet bought anything directly from them and buy exclusively from re sellers. With the A store account, artists can bypass the entire distribution system, now on the ropes anyway and go directly into the system.

    And then they get paid monthly in direct deposit accounts. In the old brick and mortar days, a small label went through hell with distributor shenanigans. I used to work for Rounder Records and am quite familiar with the problem. They would take forever to pay labels if they did at all and much chaos ensued.

    From November thru January, I must have done 3 to 4 hundred dollars in purchases from resellers at Amazon, mainly these small stores all over the place. It doesn’t help labels much as everything is after market but it works well for the mom and pops.

    And as for Matt, I get feedback all the time from devotees of Strunk and White who genuinely like his pieces, maybe they weren’t English majors. The analytics data further bears it out.

    As it is, I had to explain to Mr. Ramsey that I didn’t write the piece on Paul Gonsalves that he enjoyed, Matt did. I wanted him to get credit.

    It is good to know you heard from Celine and Beckett to verify their capacities, I thought they were dead. I guess if you look at usages and conventions of writing as some granite inscribed thing, then Matt must seem like a travesty.

    If, however, you look at usages and conventions as just that and the language as a living thing, all bets are off. Who knows how forms will change over time? We stopped writing like Chaucer long ago.

    I like his passion and capacity for color writing and I’m proud to have someone from the musicians community in New York rise to the occasion of conveying their world. I wish more of them would do it as it beats reading English majors.

  6. I think I just heard your back breaking from bending over backwards.

    The analytics data bears out that Strunk and White devotees follow your blog? Yeah? And the analytics data bears out that they genuinely enjoy his pieces and maybe aren’t English majors? Astounding! And the analytics data no doubt tells what color socks they were wearing each time they read and genuinely enjoyed the piece?

    Wow, you are a wizard with that analytics data! Maybe you can use it to find which of your readers is a chiropractor – that back’s about to snap.

    Have a nice day. Pleeze be shure to saye,. hello to Matt Lavelle 4 me to.

    Miles Davis,.would approve…

  7. One thing I’m sure Miles would NOT approve of is somebody like this mystery guy,.”Dean”,.

    Dean,.Who are you and why are you afraid to let me see who you really are? Can I read your masterful work that makes you a complete authority on anything at all?

    You MUST have broken your back to think that whoever you are,.your feeble,weak,broken opinion means anything to me.

    I don’t write to please anybody that’s concerned about “correct process”,.I write to find the meaning behind whats really happening in Jazz

    The fact that my work bothers you enough for you to say anything proves your the kind of simple person who can only feel with their mind,.and has no heart.That whole,.”I’m gonna say it,and tell you that you should play only and not write to help you because you don’t know your writing is bad” shit,.SAVE it for somebody that thinks your words mean anything.I know what my writing is,’s LIFE,.and LIFE has a LITERACY all it’s own,.so take your DEAD words and just VANISH.

    I write as someone who understands the street,the part of life that comes with trying to survive as a musician in NYC,.which is a part of life somebody like you could never understand.

    By placing yourself as someone who has the right to say I’m good enough to only play music,.(I’m sure you never even listened to my work),.you reveal yourself as a simple minded judge of something beyond your ability to understand..SO..

    Again,.I ask,.can I read your work,.or hear your music?

    Careful Dean,.Your back is aleady BROKE.

    Miles Davis,.would approve

  8. You claim that I’m a mystery and then tell me ALL about myself with deep and probing analysis?

    Kinda touchy, ain’t ya? Kinda defensive? You want to be on stage but don’t want to be looked at?

    Fine – have a nice day.

  9. I apologize for adding this, I really do, but even though you can’t spell integrity, you should try to have some.

    My point is, the next time someone leaves a comment just kissing your ass, be a man and ask THEM what their credentials are to praise you.

    Miles Davis,.would approve

  10. What a mess of conflations. It is a perfect time to add a bit of utility to this and describe what Analytics does and doesn’t do and how it fits with other data points.

    It is mainly about numbers. Matt’s are pretty good. A post he did on Miles back in August has been read by 401 people as of today with 461 page visits. Some must be gluttons for punishment. They spend around 2 minutes and 30 seconds on average which about fits. That post has had pretty good shelf life.

    Analytics won’t help with reader sock colors but it does show a weekly surge when Matt posts as his fans check in and it is through communication with them in e mails that I get another data point and some have fairly impressive credentials, like that is an issue in Jazz writing.

    I spent a good part of the summer making friends with large site owners and writers, even some I publicly derided over the Hines problem. That crazy little meth psycho cost them thousands of dollars in time and effort to clean up all the spam he loaded on their sites. It took Mr Cranes sponsor til mid September to secure the gallery.

    I had lots of back channel planning sessions via e mail with a number of the afflicted as well as various enforcement options and analytics was indispensable there for IP location corroboration and other forensic profiling options like time someone in mid New Jersey spent on page on a given day.

    One grand outcome of all this, thank you Hines, was I made friends with many of these afflicted sorts and help them in cases where web tech stuff is eye glaze for them. And Hines, if you read this, are stuck in some cyber swamp banished from Jazz unless you dream up a new identity and lay low. If Analytics could find you you’d be in a world of hurt about now in civil and criminal courts.

    And it is by this personal data point, I discover that Matt is pretty well liked by many. One, a real Strunk and White stickler, loved the Gonsalves piece and the Coltrane Blackbird piece is climbing the charts with around 70 distinct readers since he posted it a few weeks ago.

    And I just heard from my friend Dr. Porter that those numbers are pretty good by Academic press standards. Now if you take the body of Matt’s work, nearly 40 posts, that is a lot of readers. And he’s my friend and performs here. I took him and his remarkable companion to lunch last time they were here.

    There you have it Dean, hope it’s helpful. Conflate away.

  11. Ok Dean,.

    Just for you:As I said before,.your a sad excuse for a human being who’s only contribution to anything is to hang around trying to harass me and Chris,.who are actually trying to keep it real.

    We are trying to discuss serious art and music in public.You have never tried to say anything substantial about anything other than my spelling sucks.I MISPELL ON PURPOSE all the time.Sometimes I just mess up.WHY does that bother you so much? That all you got? You never go into what I’m actually talking about.

    You also never mentioned your “credentials”,.do I need to mention mine?

    INTEGRITY you say? HAH! I put myself on the line with every post I write and every time I play music on stage,..while you HIDE behind a screen and try and take down people who already face enough adversity.I have NO problem with people not liking anything I do,.but If your going to talk shit in public,.BE A MAN WITH A BRAIN AND A SOUL,.and go deeper than “subliterate”,..please..

    As for ass kissing,.I don’t recall any of that,.forgive me if what I write means something to somebody and then they let me know.

    Dean,…whoever and whatever you are,.you are a perfect example of what’s wrong with just about everything today,.and you will soon vanish having made no contribution to anything of substantial merit.No one will remember you or care that you even existed.At least Chris and I are trying to do something positive.

    If you really want to BE A MAN and all that then give me your phone number and address,.or come see me at my next show and say any of this stuff to my face.Miles WOULD approve.

  12. Exquisitely put. Better call him a “dead fart”.

    Back to jazz:

    It’s great you called your site “Jazz Session”. Sessions in jazz, if they are good, creative, a true exchange of musical ideas, and if they are competitive (not olympic), they can still be a propeller for the (jazz) musical evolution.

    When I’m among friends, play my sax, meet the gals, and not too many drinks, then I know: I’m alive. Jazz is alive. Anything is possible. Then I sit down the next day, and write a tune, reflecting the sounds of the night before.

    That’s what jazz sessions are made for: You try something new you never played before, you listen to the others, and get inspired.

    Nastrovje tovarisch!

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