Who influences you? Vocalist or otherwise and what is the name of the last disc (mp3 etc) you bought?
A.W. - "There is so much music I love! When I first started delving into the world of jazz in high school, I was influenced mostly by horn players because I wanted to improvise like one...I always related to the sound of a trumpet. Of course I listened to vocalists, too. Some of my favorites? In the jazz instrumental realm, I adore Chris Potter, Michael Brecker, Clifford Brown, Ben Monder... Vocalists I love? Peter Gabriel, Gian Slater
( an amazing singer/songwriter/improviser from Australia), Kate McGarry, Rhiannon, Theo Bleckmann, Imogen Heap, Joni Mitchell... there are just way too many to list. I tend to lean towards singers that tell stories with their lyrics and through the unique colors in their voices- I would venture to say you could identify all of them within a few seconds of hearing the timbre of their voice. I guess you could say that the instrumentalists I love do the same for me (minus the lyrics, although their playing must have some sort of lyrical quality to it).
As far as CDs I've just purchased (and yes, i buy ALL the music I listen to), one I just purchased that I'm moved by is Shawn Colvin's "All Fall Down". She is an AMAZING story teller, sings from a raw place, and her voice is unmistakably unique."
Jazz sales are still struggling. Has the over abundance of technology platforms for artists grown faster than what the industry can keep up with?
A.W. - "This is an issue that GREATLY gets under my skin. I think that streaming machines like Spotify are greatly hurting our industry. People are becoming more and more ungrateful for the music they have access to and are devaluing it constantly, because they can get it for next to nothing (or in some instances, for nothing at all). I wouldn't have as much of an issue with Spotify and other platforms like it if they did indeed encourage people to BUY the music they hear and enjoy... but that is NOT what is happening. People spend a small monthly fee and then can basically stream entire albums on their iPhone (or mp3 player of choice), whilst the artist is getting paid fractions of a penny per stream (some reported at $.0048 cents per stream! some even less than that! WHAT?!?!) That is just so wrong to me on every level. People put their heart and souls and money into these recordings! Why does the public not want to show their gratitude for these gifts they have been given to listen to??"
Are critics sometimes too disconnected from the artists work? Is listening truly a lost art?
A.W. - "This is an interesting question. I have never been a music critic per se, but I will tell you what I want when I hear music of any genre. I want to be MOVED. Deeply. I want to be taken to some sort of edge. I want to be surprised and transported. That does not necessarily mean that I have to be listening to lush strings or ballads. I can be moved by a hip hop song. I can be moved by a killer tenor sax solo. But listening for me takes TIME. Time to let the sounds and stories soak in. I often wonder if critics suffer because there is so much more music out there- many more people have the ability to record at home and get their finished product out on the Internet at an alarming rate. There is an over-saturation of sounds out there, some that wonderful, some that are not. As a music listener, one can be bombarded in seconds when they go to sites like YouTube. It's fascinating, yet overwhelming. Because our senses are being bombarded in such a way, do we really allow ourselves to take the time and LISTEN??? So yes, listening is starting to become a lost art form, but it can be salvaged if we take the time to really hear, and discover the truly beautiful music that is out there that might be hiding behind the obvious commercial releases that we are being exposed to so frequently."