Cutting Contest, online

Six emerging jazz acts, playing in their hometowns from Fresno to Brisbane, Australia competed publicly via video clips to win a Coltrane boxed set and $1000 cash prizes — that was the First World Internet “Cutting Contest”, results announced January 31 online (of course).  Pretty good gimmick — er, marketing idea — to use the web, expose new talent, enlist the audience in interactivity, among other things the endeavor of (among its motto’s:  “This is John Coltrane’s world . . . we just live in it”)  seems to be about. 

Trumpeter Theo Crocker’s New York-quintet (alto sax, piano, bass and drums, in this clip, abstracting along the post-bop path) took top honors, garnering 913 votes. Guitarist Pedja Simovic from Nis, Serbia, here stretching out on a bossa nova standard was voted 2nd and trumpeter Bryan Osborne (with funk drums, bass and electric keys, of Charlotte, NC) third. Voting can’t have been very heavy, compared to the potential (partly my fault. Being distracted, I’d neglected to announce this contest when you could have participated, and I apololgize to correspondent Chris Corso who originally tried to post about the cutting contest on this blog as a comment). One can imagine that with some cooperative promotion, thousands could get excited about an international contest, visit and vote.

But this effort is obviously modest and home-grown. TruthInMusic’s other featured production is a shaggy-looking music documentary called The Amateur about a man of a certain maturity who takes up jazz piano (not a bad thing if not super-urgent viewing, either). What I admire, however, about the Cutting Contest isn’t that it’s definitive, all-inspiring or otherwise perfect, but that it seems quite easy to imitate, a good idea of a format that it would seem pretty much anyone who wants to promote a handful of bands or artists of any genre could do. 
Meanwhile, TruthInMusic says they’ll stage another such cutting contest, pending sponsorship.

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