Can online distribution help jazz musicians?

October 11, 2007

New York-based Slow Poke quartet recently released an online-only version of a previously unreleased early album. In response to the release, Variety.com‘s blog briefly delved into the positive impact that online mediums could have on homegrown jazz.

“Years ago, when the suggestion first arose that the Internet would level the playing field among musicians and labels, I figured one of the true beneficiaries would be jazz musicians,” they wrote.

As far as traditional distribution channels are concerned, jazz is crisis: major labels aren’t interested and European labels can’t guarantee distribution.

“Outside of specialty shops like Downtown Music Gallery in New York and Jazz Record Mart in Chicago, where might a jazz artist get their indie CD heard?” the blog asked.

Slow Poke’s release is part of Palmetto Records, a jazz label based in Philadelphia. Online distribution seems to be an ideal platform for the label, as it specializes in experimental sounds that wouldn’t necessarily be noticed elsewhere.

Underground rock is already the staple of cool, and even if its glamour momentarily fades, is likely to always keep that label. With a passionate pool of musicians who are already sufficiently ticked off about the status of jazz as a public art form, perhaps it’s not so bad if the evolution of jazz happens underground. After all, the distribution channels now exist.

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2 Responses to “Can online distribution help jazz musicians?”

  1. anz203 Says:

    This seems like a really interesting story and I’m not really even into the music-writing scene. It sounds cool. Good job.

  2. juanitaleon Says:

    It’s very good post. this topic of online distribution might be the key to the survival of jazz.

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