Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Sacred Cows of Jazz / A Reporters obligation. An update.

Despite living in what some would consider a "southern" city which traditionally votes a virtual straight Republican ticket, we have one newspaper which has long held what many to believe to be an unfair liberal bias. In fact this same paper - The Courier Journal does carry this site. I left writing about politics several years ago due to the non stop hate, animosity and literary spinning of wheels and felt much better about myself when I realized this paper has the right to print and hold any editorial stance as I do here on my site.

So what does this have to do with jazz? Allow me to establish the lead in first. The Courier Journal has but one Conservative columnist and in what was either published or highly censored editorial (according to the General Manager from the local Fox affiliate) was pressured into stepping down from his post. The reporter called for an openness and a wiling to share and hopefully bridge ideological differences. At face value this seems perfectly fine but...

If you write anything about anyone and especially your employer and put it out for public consumption then you have to accept the fall out. In this case a solid reporter is now pounding the pavement as writing gigs in this city are not exactly plentiful.

So back to jazz...

On social media I have had conversations with musicians that have publicly trashed their label (yet oddly enough they keep cashing their checks) with the end result yet to be determined on a handful of rather notable names which out of professional courtesy I will leave out.

Nicholas Payton attempted to start a jazz revolution and in the process has received more bad publicity then I thought might have been possible and his efforts have rolled a huge doughnut.

There is a common sacred cow here...Never bite the hand that feeds you and as a couple of individuals have learned the hard way, never piss off a critic. Open a dialog with your employer and try to work for change from within. Those on the outside that are gainfully employed have little interest in your politics or your p.o.v. but instead appreciate a well thought out perspective.

While being an Independent Conservative I totally support the actions of the Courier with the suspicion there is more here than what the local TV stations are reporting. WDRB the Fox affiliate has an axe to grind with the Courier and to take advantage of what should be an internal H.R. matter is every bit as irresponsible as they claim the newspapers actions to be. Me? I appreciate being carried by the local Gannet paper. Do I read it? No...When you spend your time reviewing over 3000 recordings a year the free time available to you is normally spent doing laundry and all those fun domestic chores that make life worth living.

Jazz sacred cows should not exist. Taste is subjective but if you back up your opinion with why i.e. sound reasoning, logic, and factual evidence then the playing field is level for everyone.

************Update*********
The  Conservative columnist resigned his position and was apparently not forced out as was clarified  by the local Fox affiliate. Any newspaper, magazine, or on line publication has the right to maintain any editorial license or stance as they see fit. Writing a column that is highly critical of the people that pay for your food and shelter certainly is not the smart avenue to take. However I "appreciate" the convictions and obvious integrity of the columnist as I left contributing to several major jazz publications for the same reasons. Not all releases are good and no artist should necessarily be held in higher esteem than another based on name recognition alone. The irony here is not lost.