Jazz Around the World

Recently, we have been curious about the readership, especially since thejazzmonger blog went through a protracted period of idleness last year. So, I checked into our usage statistics a little bit. We found some surprises… some very pleasant surprises. First, we have been averaging around 65 hits per day, recently, with the high being 82 hits and the low being 50. So the traffic has been pretty steady. That’s good, I think.

Kudos are due to the great folks at WordPress for providing a terrific vehicle to let one speak to the whole wide world. If you have ever given any thought to expressing yourself in blog form, I encourage you to check out the great package of services and assistance  provided there.

But, what really surprised us was where the visitors are logging in from. Naturally, most connections originate in the United States, with the United Kingdom and India (both predominantly English-speaking countries and very heavily wired-in) coming in second and third. It was the overall distribution that was a revelation. Over the last seven days, we have logged visitors from thirty-eight (38) different countries.  And I am quite stoked about that.

Any disappointments? Yes, a couple. We would really love to be picked up more in Japan. The Japanese are well-recognized as sincere fans and aficionados of good Jazz. One fine exampleof this is the excellent site Jazz in Japan, edited by Michael Pronko.  Not only does he thoroughly cover the Jazz scene in Japan, but he writes with passion and talent on some surprisingly (for me) provocative subjects, such as Jazz and ZenThis guy has stretched my horizons considerably. Maybe our problem, here, is that thejazzmonger just doesn’t measure up to this kind of material. Michael gives us something to shoot at.

And the Japanese are not just fans. Many important contributors to the genre are from Japan. A case in point is one of my favorires, Gota Yashiki, about whom thejazzmonger wrote lovingly some time ago (Cf: http://wp.me/ppvVJ-al).  thejazzmonger needs to put in some serious thought on how we might appeal to this sophisticated audience, in the future.

Another disappointment is the low showing from Switzerland. I have some family, and a couple of good friends in Switzerland. We bagged one hit for the week. C’mon family!

We draw some encouragement, though, from what we think are pretty good numbers in some other places. Fifty-three hits from India and Pakistan, combined. Twenty from Greece! The Greeks have plenty going on, right now, so we are gratified that a few of them had time to drop by. One hit from the Russian Federation, probably Vladimir Putin, unwinding from another election rout.

WE invite any, and all, visitors to come back often, comment as you see fit and, please, drop us a note via the “Contact Us” link, introduce yourself and let us know where you sign in from.

Here is the chart

SoundCloud is a Very Cool Site

If you like music, and you enjoy sampling cutting-edge tracks by new talent, you need to check out a great new site called SoundCloud. Regular readers may have noticed that I posted some tracks in an earlier message using the high-quality SoundCloud audio player.  The player is a very versatile utility, letting you upload a track, edit, scrunch, tweak and manipulate it all over the place. Then playback and store the new creation.

SoundCloud is also a vast community of music creators and fans which offers quick-and-easy, down-and-dirty facility for uploading and sharing sound tracks. In just a few days of poking around, I have found some interesting tracks. Here is one posted  by a young man who calls himself T-Cash. He presents it as “inspired by an old church song.” T-Cash has stepped-up the beat and pushed that melody through the electronic instrument window to create a “Funky Piano/Tech/Power-guitar” track that I think is really good. Give a listen to The Golden City RC-2:

Take a look at the Sidebar (over to the right) and you will see a button/link inviting you, or anyone you know, to send me a soundtrack via my personal “drop box” at SoundCloud. I will listen, give the sender/composer/arranger/whoever some feedback and will consider posting the best tracks on this site. Hopefully, some hard-working new talent will get a modicum of exposure. We ain’t the big-time but, heck, we are pushing toward 40,000 hits and we just came online in January of 2009. It took quite a while to get the hang of it and develop enough decent content to invite scrutiny so, actually, we have only really been “out there” about six months.

Here is what you are looking for on the Sidebar:


Send me your track

Bookmark this excellent database on Big Bands & Swing

Whether you are looking for song lyrics, hit parade lists, information on composers & performers or a list of currently woking bands, this huge, well-organized database is the place to start. Simply formatted, this compendium is easy to use and rich in fascinating information for any music lover. Go to Big Band Database [site now dead] and see what I mean.

**Update as of May 2013**

Unfortunately, Murray Pfeffer, the original builder and keeper of the database, passed away in 2008 and the link no longer connects to the database.

The best alternative I have been able to find, so far, is The Big Band Library, operated by music librarian Christopher Popa. Here is what Chris has to say about his effort:

Big Band Library is a website dedicated to and focused on the legendary big band leaders who made timeless music that continues to appeal to many people, including myself.
 
I am solely responsible for the creation and content of this website, and strive to write clearly, with accuracy, and cite my sources.  There is much good information here.  Copyright and all rights reserved.

Follow the link and enjoy the wealth of information and good memories shared here.

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