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A review for a price: Fanfare magazine crosses ethical line

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I'm forever grateful to Mr. Albertson for giving my debut recording Stereo Review's jazz pick of the month without any influence peddling from the label or anyone else. In fact CrissCross was so cheap I had to buy all the promo copies from the label and send them myself.

Oh man. That's rough.

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I'm forever grateful to Mr. Albertson for giving my debut recording Stereo Review's jazz pick of the month without any influence peddling from the label or anyone else. In fact CrissCross was so cheap I had to buy all the promo copies from the label and send them myself.

Oh man. That's rough.

Sometimes that's the case. Getting a deal can be a good thing, but one sometimes has to eat crap. If it's a small run, you too can be responsible for it selling out. :rfr

Edited by 7/4

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p/s: re: getting independent releases reviewed... it's more complicated than it should be but you have to blame the critics as well as pubs... it's esp. tuff now in exponential times a jillion cd-r era when everyone hustles something... not defending inattentiveness but it's just harder than ever to get noticed for "just" a rekkid.

Like many writers, I pitch a ton of independent releases for review to publications and websites, but editors make the final choices concerning assignments. There are outlets that give writers a free hand as to what they cover, but that seems to be the exception.

While Cadence provides little compensation to writers, even "regular" writers, Bob Rusch does not play favorites. My experience during a 2-3 stint as a Cadence contributor was that he left my copy alone and didn't care if my review trashed a label advertising in the magazine or one of his own products. The biggest headache for me was his seemingly random order of printing reviews; I once submitted a set of reviews a week after getting the assignments, but they didn't run for 6 months or so.

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I once reviewed a concert for Down Beat (a Caught in the Act assignment) and by the time they printed it, the album was on sale!

I'm not being funny, it really happened.

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I once reviewed a concert for Down Beat (a Caught in the Act assignment) and by the time they printed it, the album was on sale!

I'm not being funny, it really happened.

I don't doubt you, Chris.

I can't remember if my delayed reviews were a set of Butch Thompson CDs or Phil Woods' Mosaic set (the latter which was particularly irritating, since the other Mosaic releases issued at the same time had reviews printed promptly in the next issue)

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I've never had much trouble with reviews running in Cadence out of order of submission; but I have had them take an incredibly long time to appear, as in 6 months on occasion. But I've been less productive lately & in fact the current issue (August) brings them almost up to date with what I've sent. -- This all seemed like a dream though compared to Coda, which until the recent change of editorship could (under both the Norris/Smith editorship & Stuart Broomer) take over a year to publish a review. I think my record was a year & a half for two Simon Fell discs. -- The current editor on the other hand has made a point of assembling the contents from scratch for each issue, with no holdovers. This means reviews take a max of 2 months to appear.

Advertising certainly affects editorial content a lot. At one mag my pitch to cover the Toronto jazz fest was turned down because the TO fest hadn't purchased any adverts in the past two or three years.

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"At one mag my pitch to cover the Toronto jazz fest was turned down because the TO fest hadn't purchased any adverts in the past two or three years."

Which may explain why they hadn't.

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The October issue of Cadence has a Rusch editorial responding to Jim Sangrey's comments in this thread. I typed it all in & then a power outage intervened--don't think I have the patience to do it a 2nd time. -- Rusch makes a lot of fuss about the accusation being "anonymous", which of course is not the case (it's not like Jim's screen handle, JSngry, disguises who he is).

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The October issue of Cadence has a Rusch editorial responding to Jim Sangrey's comments in this thread. I typed it all in & then a power outage intervened--don't think I have the patience to do it a 2nd time. -- Rusch makes a lot of fuss about the accusation being "anonymous", which of course is not the case (it's not like Jim's screen handle, JSngry, disguises who he is).

How about if we say "pretty please with sugar on top"? I'd really like to know exactly what he said.

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Come on...there's no ethics in the magazine business or any other. Business sucks.

Code of Business Ethics:

(1) Make money.

(2) See (1).

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Dan--OK, here it is.

A reader recently brought to our attention a comment concerning Cadence Magazine that appeared in an internet discussion group about the common (and no longer so hidden) practice of magazines demanding or in some way tying in review coverage and editorial endorsement of product (recordings, in this case) with purchasing of ad space, a practice that Cadence, over its 30 plus years of publication, has not only exposed but denounced as well. And this practice is no longer limited just to reviews; cover features can now be bought from some of the Jazz press. I do not wish to imply that all reviews and features are suspect. They are not, though many are suspect for reasons other than print-ola.

Now this fellow(?) (I can't tell you who it is as many of these slash & burn wannabes hide behind aliases, unwilling to stand up to their idiocy) said that he(?) knew that Cadence engages in the print-ola practice. No other info, time, date, or place, and, of course, no name. The Internet is good for many things, but remember, anyone can say anything and do so pretty much with impunity if they choose. And folks in turn can find almost anything they want on the Internet to reinforce what they want to believe. But just in case anyone has nay doubts about the review policy of Cadence (stated clearly in each and every issue) or any connection between the advertising department (such as it is) and the editorial policy, then please note: Cadence does not take money to influence in any way our editorial policy or integrity. The fact is, you'll have a hard time finding anyone who was even solicited by us, over the past 30 years, for their advertising dollar. And any of our writers (that we are made aware of) who take money or solicit favors in exchange for their opinion in this magazine are immediately terminated. We know of it being suggested only once, by one of our writers, and his relationship with this magazine came to a quick halt.

Of course, there can be a chain of corruption. The Miami Herald recently fired three "journalists"; just three out of ten journalists who took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Bush Administration to file anti-Castro reports in the U.S. media. In this case, the "journalists" were terminated when the publisher was made aware of the situation. But in the Jazz media the corruption can be found in individuals and--even more distressing--at the top of the editorial and publishing hierarchy.

Having now reviewed about 50,000 items, I can say with certainty that not one opinion from us was made or influenced by any payment to us of any sort.

So, the statement by the anonymous network news group contributor is untrue and the person is either delusional or a liar. And any contradiction to this statement can be made directly to me. My name is at the bottom.

Bob Rusch

Edited by Nate Dorward

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Thanks Nate. Either Rusch is talking about someone else entirely or Cadence's research staff is worth shit...

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Well, issues like the famous CIMP sound & distribution deals & so forth are different matters from the specific topic of this thread.... I don't know anything about Jim Sangrey's experience in the 1980s, though knowing him I'm sure he did not mention the experience casually/without good reason. Looking at the current magazine it seems obvious there is little relation between reviews & advertising because there is, in fact, little advertising at all compared to virtually any other jazz journal, aside from the catalogue in the middle.

I don't know if you enjoy reading it--though I find that even just picking out the reviews by its best writers like Jason Bivins & Michael Steinman make it more than worthwhile--but I enjoy writing for it, as the discs from often very obscure labels & artists that get sent me are a welcome change from the zone of the familiar.

Edited by Nate Dorward

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Incidentally the Grachan Moncur III interview in the new issue is pretty disturbing--I have to wonder about the wisdom of interviewing him at all given that the other one I've seen (the Fred Jung piece on the Jazz Weekly site) is pretty hard to take too. (The Jung piece has Moncur break down into tearful inarticulacy halfway through; in the new Cadence piece he starts yelling at the interviewer at one point.)

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Thanks for the transcription, Nate. As Ray says, either he's talking about someone else or no one told him that Jim made specific reference to the time frame this occured.

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Perhaps Jim should elaborate on what his experience with Cadence was. Outside of mentioning Cadence and a somewhat vague time frame, nothing definite was mentioned.

I've been a subscriber to Cadence since issue 2, and I can't recall seeing much advertising in all that time.

Finally, if I weren't a member/lurker here, I wouldn't know who JSngry was or what JSngry stood for. I don't think that should be held against Bob Rusch. I don't know Bob, but I've spoken with him a number of times over the years, and I know that he has his own way of looking at things (as do many - most? - of us here). I also know that he has always come across to me as an honest person.

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It would take literally about 7 seconds of research to find out who Jim is. His website is in his public profile!

If thats the journalism skills they have at Cadence, its hard for me to take anything they say seriously.

Edited by md655321

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It's strange that someone would write an editorial about an "anonymous" forum post on a rather small message board, especially since the following posts are friendly on Cadence.

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It would take literally about 7 seconds of research to find out who Jim is. His website is in his public profile!

If thats the journalism skills they have at Cadence, its hard for me to take anything they say seriously.

If you take but a quick look at their website you wouldn't be surprised that Rusch might not be entirely web-savvy. The mag is fine and i have no reason not to respect Rusch as editor, but their site sucks.

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It would take literally about 7 seconds of research to find out who Jim is. His website is in his public profile!

If thats the journalism skills they have at Cadence, its hard for me to take anything they say seriously.

I think that whether Bob Rusch went to the trouble to seek out JSngry's website is beside the point. There are a lot of people on the internet who use aliases, and one could go nuts trying to find out who's behind what name.

The point is that Bob Rusch was responding to a comment/accusation which was quite vague. I don't know who's "right" or "wrong" - maybe those terms don't even come into play here. I do know that I respect both Bob Rusch and Jim Sangry.

Edited by paul secor

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