The other night, I used my iTunes album tabulator to figure out how many jazz albums I had ripped to my hard drive over the years. The answer was an astonishing 276, many of which I’ve never given more than a cursory listen to. I was a bit surprised by the number. I knew I had accumulated a significant amount of jazz over the years (being forced to fill over two-to-three hours of jazz radio programming a week for five years will do that) but I had at least figured on having given most of it an ample listen. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. At least 100+ albums were probably ripped, enjoyed briefly while filling airtime, and then either forgotten or subsumed by other aural desires. Worse still, this figure doesn’t include all the jazz I own on vinyl — another 40-60 albums easy.
I want to listen to these records and give them the attention they deserve. Some of them will be revelatory. Some of them will be deletable. It’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff and hone my jazz collection to the bone.
Lately, I’ve felt like this blog has stalled. No longer being on the radio has slowly sapped the impetus out of blogging about jazz and I don’t want to be one of those blogs that merely filters YouTube content. I’d also burned out of jazz for awhile and found my listening attentions being soaked up by electronic music, film scores, and metal. I hadn’t reviewed a jazz record in over six months and couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe it was time to wind Bop and Beyond on down.
Then I got my hands on a magnificent Max Roach album and everything snapped back into place. Jazz had resurged.
So, in order to breath some new life into this blog and my jazz listening life, I am taking it upon myself to listen and review those under-loved jazz albums that have been sitting on my hard drive gathering metaphorical dust. To take them out for a spin with open ears and see how they hold up.
I’m told that 400+ jazz albums is nothing for someone with the true mania for jazz collecting. I feel like that hysteria for constant acquisition is fading out for me. I want to appreciate what I have without constantly needing to seek out new material.
Not that I will stop buying jazz. Just more considered purchases perhaps?