Recently, via this blog, I was contacted by someone who asked me if I’d listen to something (and, by inference write about it). I don’t get much of this and this is probably the first completely random approach – it was from someone acting on behalf of an artist whose album is just now being released. The challenge to me was that it made think again about my (admittedly minimal and flexible) ground rules for what I write here. I fairly quickly came to the view that I’m not trying to be a critic. Sure I have opinions, but I’m not claiming a superior or specialist insight into the music or analysing and weighing up artistic worth. A discussion thread on Londonjazz a couple of years ago really helped me crystallise this. Peter Slavid made a plea for more clear opinion from jazz critics on the basis that they seemed to like everything! An illuminating debate followed. But here’s where I landed. Generally I spend my hard earned cash on gigs and CDs I expect to like. When I write about them I try and describe what I’ve heard and what I liked about it (and maybe why). If I don’t especially like it or think its a bit ropey – I’ll probably not write about it. And sometimes I’m just a bit busy. Now, I admit to flexing this a bit and I know there are a few, slightly understated, ‘I didn’t really think much to this’ blogs on this site. But on the whole, that’s my approach.
So back to invitations: if asked then to listen to a recording, it could create a bit of an obligation to write something (if I’ve been given something for free), so I guess I have to say – ‘I may write something, if I do it’ll be because I quite like it, if I don’t it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, there’s plenty I hear that I know is great music but just doesn’t touch me or appeal to me particularly; and what I do write might be better called ‘an appreciation’ rather than a review. It’ll be just what I hear and what strikes me. And what of that invitation that prompted this? Well I did listen and rather like the album, so I probably will write something about Kekko Fornarelli’s new release ‘Room of Mirrors’… when I get around to it! On being Solicited – Part 2 coming soon.