When Rifftides launched in the dark ages of jazz blogging, 2005, a handful of us, if that many, pursued this hybrid form of communication. Now, jazz blogs have proliferated to the point where it is probably impossible to keep tabs on the expansion. This evening, Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalists Association, conducted a webinar (web seminar) with four young bloggers. Howard’s selection of his guests indicates his regard for their work or, at least, for their potential.
All relatively new to web logging, they discussed the attractions, possibilities, values and obligations of this hybrid form of communication. They did not agree on everything, but at the end they uniformly rejected the argument that jazz is dead or dying. That prognostication raises its head about once a year, most recently in a piece by Benjamin Schwarz in the November issue of The Atlantic. Dressed as a review of Ted Gioia’s new book, Schwarz’s tolling of the bell is called “The End of Jazz.”
The JJA webinar bloggers emphasized that they would not have taken up the craft if they thought it had no future. When the discussion ended, I visited each of their blogs and read them with interest. I’m adding them to the Rifftides blogroll at the end of the right-hand column. (Yeah, I know the list needs tending.) The guests (with links) were:
Alex Rodriguez of Lubricity
Veronica Grandison of Roots, Rhythm and Rhyme
Angelika Beener of Alternate Takes
and Jonathan Wertheim, who calls himself, with cause, The Disgruntled Jazz Critic.
Pay them a visit, see what you think, and comment to them on their blog pages or to Rifftides.