Matthew Shipp


Matthew's Back in Town,
Brilliant Corners, a Boston Jazz Blog

While a debate over the pros and cons of mercantilism as applied to jazz rages below, I got an e mail from Mr Shipp last night to let me know he's back from a fabulous September that began in Brazil, took him through another fat swath of former Soviet enclaves, saw him do a Poland jaunt with Mr. Morris and topped it off with a date in Amsterdam.

He gets to relax for a bit before heading out to some dates in the US that are still less spectacular due to suckiness we've all come to expect and then it's back overseas.

Mr. Shipp is a bit of an anomaly in regards to all the earnest mercantile advice proffered in the comment stream, the remnants of Jazz Inc still go out of their way to pretend he barely exists cause he's so uppity. But they are choking to a point where an endorsement from the Apple Cart is about as useful as a Tea Party endorsement in his home state of Delaware.

The Apple Cart is filled with scribblers with biz models that began with Gutenberg. I'm talking about print advertising, the most backward shit out there and its premises and rationales still dominate jazz media. Howard probably still has his aol e mail account. It's like that. The world of jazz described or reviewed is still mainly ink stained wretches and pompous english majors moonlighting when it needs real musicologists or at least people who can play one on TV.

I see near zero evidence that most understand the web and how it works so they all lean on other dying things like EMI for ad money to prop up Joe Lovano. The brand hijack done by the pathetic New York "All About Jazz" is a case in point. The proprietor is a print idiot and he gulled provincial New York jazz biz rubes into wasting money on a paper that gets dumped in clubs, a few dying record stores and a scattering of restaurants where around a third of the heap is read by someone and the other two thirds land in the trash, month after month. But hey, the inflated circulation numbers do look good 'on paper'.

There are a few radio biz people in the apple cart but that is semi obsolete too and doesn't deliver much more value than print. The best radio is exemplified by WFMU and they aren't trying to control anything.Their costs are lower so they can run on a comparative shoestring.

Mr. Shipp antagonizes these people so they diss him. He had a successful summer too with a Newport date that was all but ignored in the rush to prop up the carcass of old Brubeck and other failing business decisions. He's busting out despite that because the rest of the world doesn't give a rats ass about what media wheezebags in New York think. It's pretty funny.

I just bring it up because of how it undermines the mercantile assumptions which depend on some imagined fairness. No, it's not enough to make an appealing 'product'. It is also important to keep those feathers well preened and ruffling them makes the chickens squawk before heading off to roost as far away from the ruffler as possible.

Posted by Christopher Ruston Rich

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