mikeweil

Mike Weil's discographies - general remarks

62 posts in this topic

I have been compiling serious discographies with the BRIAN database for several years now, but at the time I do not have the time nor the funds for putting up a proper website of my own - don't ask me why. Under these circumstances I gladly accepted Steve Albin's offer to host my discographies on the Jazz Discography website. Only discographies compiled with the BRIAN database are published there.

Sources for the data are many: my own record collection; discographical data available on the web, like the Tom Lord Jazz Discographydiscogs, or allmusic; printed label discographies like those compiled by Michael Ruppli; and, most importantly, information from musicians, members of this forum and other collectors the world over. 

I seriously recommend using BRIAN to anybody wishing to compile a discography - it forces you to do meticulous research and look for all information available to identify a particular track.

But. most importantly, listen to the music carefully - this alone made me discover many obvious errors like mistitled tracks or instrument attributions.

Feel free to post any questions. Thanks for your attention.

All these discographies are about the musical legacy of musicicians that are important to me. They now will be viewable online on the jazzdiscographies website and be omitted here - updates are easier there.

Links to the online discographies:

Don Patterson: https://jazzdiscography.com/Artists/don-patterson/index.php

Melvin Rhyne: https://jazzdiscography.com/Artists/melvin-rhyne/index.php

Pony Poindexter: https://jazzdiscography.com/pony-poindexter-discography/

Paul Bryant: https://jazzdiscography.com/paul-bryant-discography/

Lloyd McNeillhttps://jazzdiscography.com/lloyd-mcneill-discography/

Ronald Muldrow: (Leader dates) https://jazzdiscography.com/Leaders/muldrowdisco.php

Al McKibbon: (Leader dates) https://jazzdiscography.com/Leaders/mckibbon.php

Projects I am working on:

Carla White

Dave Mackay

Dave Brubeck 1942-1950

Nick Esposito

Tito Puente RCA sessions

Mongo Santamaria

Jeff Palmer

....... and of course, Cal Tjader !!!

Edited by mikeweil

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So does the Brian software come pre-loaded with artists and song titles with composers? It outputs as a word file or PDF, and you can choose chronological?

I am beginning to wonder whether I should re-do my Percy France Sessionagraphy using this system. Not that I would worry about matrix or anything like that.

I am planning to publish online hopefully by early 2021 but have only looked at availability of URLs (I like PercyFrance.Info myself) and nothing about website development or hosting.  But some things are coming together ...

 

Thanks for sharing your work Mike it is a tremendous accomplishment.

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Since you asked, allow me to toot my own horn here regarding BRIAN.

BRIAN does come with a starter database of songs, composers, personnel names, and labels.  It is not at all complete - it is the result of entries made by a prolific BRIAN discographer - but it is fairly comprehensive and quite a time saver for most discographers.

Output of BRIAN is strictly html based web pages, but these can be easily browsed locally from your computer and printed to pdf via the web browser.  The output of the web pages can be .html or .php and they are created in a way so they can be directly uploaded to a website without editing. 

View the hundreds of discographies displayed on JazzDiscography.com and see what I am talking about.  Every one of these discography pages is directly generated by BRIAN.

Contact me via the contact page at JazzDiscography.com  if you have any questions. 

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Dan, you were the first I thought of knowing about your Percy France research. The BRIAN database is not too sophisticated, and the online tutorial covers most of the questions that may occur. Steven Albin is a nice man, was of much help whenever problems arose, and even incorporated some of my suggestions into the software. When you look at the discographies of real prolific artist like Peggy Lee you see what it can do. 

I customized the database a lot over the years, adding many musicians and compositions that are beyond the standard repertoire. 

Edited by mikeweil

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18 minutes ago, mikeweil said:

Dan, you were the first I thought of knowing about your Percy France research. The BRIAN database is not too sophisticated, and the online tutorial covers most of the questions that may occur. Steven Albin is a nice man, was of much help whenever problems arose, and even incorporated some of my suggestions into the software. When you ate the discographies of real prolific artist like Peggy Lee you see what it can do. 

I customized the database a lot over the years, adding many musicians and compositions that are beyond the standard repertoire. 

Thanks Mike I will at some point download it and play around a bit ... one thing that concerns me is that if it outputs as HTML that defeats (I think) one thought I have had which is incorporating snippets of recordings as an excepted "Fair Use" - for instance a la Benedetti I could include a snippet of just Percy's solo for one track per session. Doesn't seem like this is conducive though for all I know with an existing HTML page modern web creation allows incorporation of an audio player widget to be placed anywhere.

Also not sure I want a single long scrollable page or not ... I just gotta see how it works in comparison to what I've compiled so far.

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2 hours ago, steveja7 said:

Since you asked, allow me to toot my own horn here regarding BRIAN.

BRIAN does come with a starter database of songs, composers, personnel names, and labels.  It is not at all complete - it is the result of entries made by a prolific BRIAN discographer - but it is fairly comprehensive and quite a time saver for most discographers.

Output of BRIAN is strictly html based web pages, but these can be easily browsed locally from your computer and printed to pdf via the web browser.  The output of the web pages can be .html or .php and they are created in a way so they can be directly uploaded to a website without editing. 

View the hundreds of discographies displayed on JazzDiscography.com and see what I am talking about.  Every one of these discography pages is directly generated by BRIAN.

Contact me via the contact page at JazzDiscography.com  if you have any questions. 

That partially answers my outstanding question - there is a starter database. But every time someone completes a discography in BRIAN, does that get added to the database?

I need to start using BRIAN, but that was always a sticking point for me. If, say, I decide I want to make a Tina Brooks discography (around 20-25 sessions at most), how do I get access to all the sessions that were already entered by someone else? It could be that they have all already been entered by someone.

Let's say I make a complete Blue Note discography. Then someone doing a Hank Mobley discography has almost no more sessions left to enter? Alternatively, one could build a partial Blue Note discography from sessions entered over the years by other people, starting with jazzdiscography.com and Noal Cohen's site. You would just run a report using 'Blue Note' as the label? 

Edited by bertrand

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19 minutes ago, bertrand said:

I need to start using BRIAN, but that was always a sticking point for me. If, say, I decide I want to make a Tina Brooks discography (around 20-25 sessions at most), how do I get access to all the sessions that were already entered by someone else? It could be that they have all already been entered by someone.

The starter database does not contain session or issue information.  BRIAN does have a feature that allows imports of sessions entered by another BRIAN discographer, but you have to ask that discographer to send you the session files.  Session exports and imports can only be done one session at a time. 

It is possible for a discographer to do a wholesale export all the information of an artist.  This may come in handy if you were thinking of doing a discography of an artist that collaborated often with another artist that someone already entered in their discography.  The exported database would contain all the sessions and issues for the particular artist being exported.  Again, this relies on another discographer deciding to share the information.

There is no central database of sessions for BRIAN.  BRIAN databases cannot be merged.

 

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Thanks for the clarification. I am not sure when I will get started. It seems that redoing work that was already done will be a daunting task.

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12 minutes ago, bertrand said:

Thanks for the clarification. I am not sure when I will get started. It seems that redoing work that was already done will be a daunting task.

Not to be presumptuous, but the hard work is doing the research.  The data entry is simply tedious.

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12 hours ago, mikeweil said:

 Since I regularly donate to this forum and consider it an appropriate place to poublish such information, I decided to make them available here. I'm sure they will find interest.

Indeed they will, and since this is definitely "value added" to the site, cybercommunity-citizenship for real. Thank you!

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8 hours ago, steveja7 said:

Not to be presumptuous, but the hard work is doing the research.  The data entry is simply tedious.

I can second that observation. But, although it may be tedious, you have to pay full attention. The door to typos is always wide open .....

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It seems to me that I would have to start both processes from scratch. The research is the far more interesting part, but one thing that I have noticed is that some discographers sermed to be allowed access to information directly from the record labels. I would not have that option, I am not sure how to get access. For example, if I were to do a Lee Morgan discography in Brian, I would want to be able to investigate my hunch regarding a second Jazzland session. I have the possible song titles. But how do I get this information from Concord? An online discography already exists as the Appendix to Jeff McMillan's book, so for Lee Morgan the task is more data entry than research. 

I guess for now, I will continue doing my research in my own format, with the intention of eventually entering the data into BRIAN if and when I ever retire from my day job. My primary focus is the composer credits. For example, no Blue Note discography out there has composer credits, they only exist for sessions that are part of artist discographies. It would be nice to finally get documented some of the corrected credits, e.g. that Wayne Shorter wrote Trapped, Duke Pearson wrote Haeschen and Butch Warren wrote The Way I Feel, not the John Patton tune.

One thing I am not really interested in is all the various issues, although I agree they belong in discographies. I will cross that bridge when I get there.

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1 hour ago, bertrand said:

I guess for now, I will continue doing my research in my own format, with the intention of eventually entering the data into BRIAN if and when I ever retire from my day job.

I am not a discographher - I support discographers.  So, I can't speak with experience on the best way to do this. But, you're not the first one to tell me that they'll "eventually enter the data into BRIAN."  I always wonder, why not use BRIAN while doing the research, not after.  When I first developed BRIAN, that was the primary goal - to assist the research, not make the reports.  BRIAN does a lot of things to prevent errors and assist in cross checking information.  Why not use that?  Unless you don't have a laptop and are tied to a desktop computer, I can't see entering data twice.

Again, I'm looking from a distance...

 

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2 hours ago, bertrand said:

I guess for now, I will continue doing my research in my own format, with the intention of eventually entering the data into BRIAN if and when I ever retire from my day job.

These were my thoughts, too, and I hesitated for a while, but now I regret it because it would have saved me a lot of time. It changes the way you do your research because you have in mind all the details you need to know, like composers, and track timings, which can be crucial in identifying different versions of the same piece.

2 hours ago, bertrand said:

One thing I am not really interested in is all the various issues, although I agree they belong in discographies. I will cross that bridge when I get there.

You can limit yourself to orginal issues, or these and CDs, or whatever - that's what I will do with the Tito Puente stuff. 

That said, there always is an issue you overlook or that is not listed anywhere on the web. But adding that in BRIAN is a piece of cake, where other dicsographies in text based formats cause much more work in such cases. Or take a musician's name. When you want to change that in BRIAN, you just do it once in the personnel data listing, and it is automatically changed in all entries. Imagine doing that in a word document!

Edited by mikeweil

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2 hours ago, mikeweil said:

Or take a musician's name. When you want to change that in BRIAN, you just do it once in the personnel data listing, and it is automatically changed in all entries. Imagine doing that in a word document!

Uh, Find & Replace? :g

For my Percy work TT are totally unnecessary.  I am not looking for different takes or issues. It's just collating dates/locations/musicians/selections, and if I used Brian, figuring out composers. 

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On 8/18/2020 at 9:55 PM, steveja7 said:

Not to be presumptuous, but the hard work is doing the research.  The data entry is simply tedious.

I just watched the videos, so I am going to take a shot at it. I have to decide what to start with and what I am trying to put together. For example, I could try to do a discography for artists that Mike and Noal have not tackled yet, e.g. Joe Chambers, Lee Morgan, Herbie Nichols, Hank Mobley, Grachan Moncur III, Dewey Redman etc...

There are still a couple of things I want to make sure I understand before I get started:

1) If I have entered sessions for different Blue Note artists, can I create a report using the label as a key in order to create a Blue Note discography?

2) I do not have a website. Will I still be able to see what my work would look like if it were to be posted on a webpage later?

To start, I will enter some specific sessions. What report they are later going to be a part of is something I can decide later, I guess.

Bertrand.

 

 

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1 hour ago, bertrand said:

I just watched the videos, so I am going to take a shot at it. I have to decide what to start with and what I am trying to put together. For example, I could try to do a discography for artists that Mike and Noal have not tackled yet, e.g. Joe Chambers, Lee Morgan, Herbie Nichols, Hank Mobley, Grachan Moncur III, Dewey Redman etc...

There are still a couple of things I want to make sure I understand before I get started:

1) If I have entered sessions for different Blue Note artists, can I create a report using the label as a key in order to create a Blue Note discography?

2) I do not have a website. Will I still be able to see what my work would look like if it were to be posted on a webpage later?

To start, I will enter some specific sessions. What report they are later going to be a part of is something I can decide later, I guess.

Bertrand.

 

 

Bertrand, I will answer the second question: yes, Brian generates the "discography" report as a text file (with the extensions .html or .php). You can open this file with your browser and also copy and paste it into Word.

As for the first question, it's been a while since I used Brian for the last time, and so I am not familiar with the latest version, but if I remember correctly, the "Report Tool" used to have different templates: Artist Discography, Musicians, Tunes played... I guess it also allows for a Label report.

Edited by EKE BBB

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9 hours ago, bertrand said:

1) If I have entered sessions for different Blue Note artists, can I create a report using the label as a key in order to create a Blue Note discography?

Yes, but...   the session must be associated with the label.  In other words, the label discography will only report sessions that were done under the ownership of the label.  So, for instance, you couldn't do a Mosaic discography because Mosaic is not a label that brings musicians into the studio for original recordings.  The sessions included in Mosaic issues would not have their name on them.

 

Edited by steveja7
accidentally submitted before finishing post

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That makes sense. As long as a Blue Note session is associated with Blue Note, it will work.

So my approach to start entering various Blue Note sessions for practice with the hope of combining them later into a Blue Note discography will work. I don't need to start with the plan 'I will do a Blue Note discography', it can morph into that later. And it can generate other projects along the way. For example, I could start with all the Blue Note Tina Brooks sessions, there are under 20. These can eventually be part of a Blue Note discography, but in the interim can be used for a Tina Brooks discography also since almost all his sessions were Blue Note.

I am old and therefore not super intuitive with anything computer related, but it is time I get my feet wet and take the plunge. It sounds like I can start slowly, and whatever work I have done can be used later. But I will start with Blue Note sessions, focusing on the artists above. I have always wanted to see composer credits added to the Blue Note discography. This is the best way to do it. I will never finish the whole Blue Note discography, my goal is to cover the years 1956-1970. There have been great recordings on the label before and after, but this span of time was off the charts in term if quality, as far as I am concerned so that is the best place to start.

So I just download it from jazzdiscography.com? Thank you for creating this amazing resource. I can't tell you how much I have used the various BRIAN discographies over the years.

Bertrand.

 

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2 minutes ago, bertrand said:

 And it can generate other projects along the way. For example, I could start with all the Blue Note Tina Brooks sessions, there are under 20. These can eventually be part of a Blue Note discography, but in the interim can be used for a Tina Brooks discography also since almost all his sessions were Blue Note.

I am old and therefore not super intuitive with anything computer related.

 

I recommend starting with a small project to get the feel of it.  The Tina Brooks discography will fit the bill.  There is a learning curve - discography is not simple.  You can contact me here or directly via email anytime with questions. I enjoy supporting my software.  There is a contact page on JazzDiscography.com and I respond ASAP.  

Old and not super intuitive should not be a drawback.  I hope I'm not speaking out of turn, but the author of the BRIAN Peggy Lee discography will be the first to admit he is a naif when it comes to computers.  But he asks and applies the answers.  If you look at his website, every page on that site except for the home page is generated from BRIAN.

 

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18 hours ago, mikeweil said:

You can limit yourself to orginal issues, or these and CDs, or whatever - that's what I will do with the Tito Puente stuff. 

That said, there always is an issue you overlook or that is not listed anywhere on the web. But adding that in BRIAN is a piece of cake, where other dicsographies in text based formats cause much more work in such cases.

I sincerely and immensely admire the work you put in these discographies and can only applaud your efforts, but from a USER's angle (at least the way I am used to using discographies), there is something I find inconvenient:

Why list all the issues and reissues over and over and over again for each track of one and the same session? Wouldn't it make much more sense if the common issues and reissues (often entire sessions are reissued in their entirety or sizable bulks from one session are issued/reissued on specific releases) were listed for the entire session behind the tracks (like conventional discographies such as Jepsen and Bruyninckx did for ages), i.e. the actual labels and numbers behind the first teack and then "identical" signs behind the tracks listed underneath.

This would make it much easier to see at a quick glance which issue or reissue actually includes the entire session.

Or else list only the original issue and first-generation reissues in this way, and then "Complete session also on ..." UNDERNEATH the full track llisting. And then  (AFTER the complete track listing): "track 1 also on, track 2 also on etc." afterwards to cover other (incomplete) reissues. BTW, IMHO "sampler"-type reissues that include only 1 or 2 tracks from a 4- or 8- or 12-track session (that has been reissued in its entirety multiple times) and otherwise feature unrelated recordings could very well be dispensed with. Unless a given track can only be found on, say, one or two of these scattered issues/reissues (such as some of the V.A "theme" albums on Pacific Jazz in the 50s).

I realize with the explosion of the quantity of reissues through the decades this is getting very difficult but the alternative would be to have monstrous quantities of lines of text after EACH track (which would take up an inordinate amount of lines and therefore space even for a simple 4-track session, not to mention LPs). And it would make it very hard to see at a glance where the collector can find the entire session.

This is no criticism, just a detail that has kept me wondering, not only with your discographies but also with numerous other fairly recent online discographies (maybe complied using Brian? Who knows?) These detailed splitdowns for each track do make it hard for the collector to see quickly which is which when.

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I will start with Tina Brooks. There is already one 'moral dilemma' - does the Ray Charles DVD count? It has not been issued as an audio CD, I wish it had. So if the session is on a DVD only, does it count? If yes, then this extends to many other live dates that only exist as a DVD, e.g. Art Blakey in Belgium 1958.

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Just now, bertrand said:

I will start with Tina Brooks. There is already one 'moral dilemma' - does the Ray Charles DVD count? It has not been issued as an audio CD, I wish it had. So if the session is on a DVD only, does it count? If yes, then this extends to many other live dates that only exist as a DVD, e.g. Art Blakey in Belgium 1958.

I can't comment on how you should proceed.  This is up to the discographer.  There are many other "dilemmas" - YouTube videos, for instance.  It is a matter of style.

That said, BRIAN can handle it.  Just add the DVD as an issue and list the performances from that session. 

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1 hour ago, bertrand said:

I will start with Tina Brooks. There is already one 'moral dilemma' - does the Ray Charles DVD count? It has not been issued as an audio CD, I wish it had. So if the session is on a DVD only, does it count? If yes, then this extends to many other live dates that only exist as a DVD, e.g. Art Blakey in Belgium 1958.

speaking as a prime consumer of online discographies: yes, it definitely counts, i.e., if it exists, I'd want to read about it in a discography and I'd be disappointed if it was missing... many of the great online discographies like Mike's Brubeck or e.g. Noal Cohen's Frank Strozier discography contain stuff like concerts for which lineups and track lists are known even if it is not known whether a recording exists, see e.g. the last session here

https://attictoys.com/frank-strozier-discography/

what is less important is a detailed listing of all subsequent reissues, especially if it includes dozens of dubious PD entries from spotify and the like... Cohen used to list these but has wisely deleted them since... btw in the case of Brooks, there already is a Leader Discography by Michael Fitzgerald

https://jazzdiscography.com/Leaders/BrooksTina-ldr.php

 

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Is it considered valid in discography circles to include every known non-official aka private recording?  Because the vast majority of Percy France recordings are private, whether audience or soundboard. 

I should probably think about experimenting on Brian soon before I get any more material to add into my haphazard word file.

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