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Mark Stryker

NPR: Women in Jazz by the Numbers (critics poll analysis)

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I tried, but couldn't read this, skimmed through it enough to see what it was about. Maybe it's my Covd talking, but this article is boring as shit...

In music, the equality of opportunities cannot guarantee the equality of outcome. 

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Great article--thanks so much for posting.  (Full disclosure that I've been asked to vote in this poll for the past several years.)

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Fascinating article.  Thanks for sharing this, Mark.

Along with the issue of gender representation, I think this article also raises some broader, interesting questions about both canonicity and critical consensus -- and how those come to be formed.  These were questions that I wrestled with as I was developing my 70s jazz blog. 

I'm still convinced that the idea of a numbered list of "best" discs of the year is bunk.  But, obviously, I love the idea of lists as a means of exploring what other listeners enjoy and value.  I think all of these lists would become much more valid if we acknowledged the subjectivity of our/their selections, how rooted they are in each list-maker's particular experiences, predilections, circumstances, and tastes.  Naturally, gender is part of this equation too.

Coming to terms with this subjectivity would free all of us from the folly of calling any art "best."   

IMO.

 

Edited by HutchFan

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Everybody should have the opportunity to aspire.

Unfortunately, most people aspire to a glorified mediocrity.

The people who know better will always be a minority, and those who know better and actually do better, those are the people to treasure.

Everybody else just be obfuscational noise.

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20 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

Fascinating article.  Thanks for sharing this, Mark.

Along with the issue of gender representation, I think this article also raises some broader, interesting questions about both canonicity and critical consensus -- and how those come to be formed.  These were questions that I wrestled with as I was developing my 70s jazz blog. 

I'm still convinced that the idea of a numbered list of "best" discs of the year is bunk.  But, obviously, I love the idea of lists as a means of exploring what other listeners enjoy and value.  I think all of these lists would become much more valid if we acknowledged the subjectivity of our/their selections, how rooted they are in each list-maker's particular experiences, predilections, circumstances, and tastes.  Naturally, gender is part of this equation too.

Coming to terms with this subjectivity would free all of us from the folly of calling any art "best."   

IMO.

 

:tup  I just mentioned in a response to Ken Dryden in my "best historical releases" Night Lights thread that I avoid ranking of any kind in that list that I do each year--and I don't cap it at 5, 10, or what have you.  Some artistic endeavors clearly succeed--however that's defined--more than others.  But attempting to apply some sort of sports-stats or election-count methodology to jazz recordings, or any other works of art for that matter, may be a fun game... but not really an accurate way IMO to reflect the worthiness of such works.  Your point about the value of such lists in introducing records and artists to those, both broader-audience and more deep-dive listeners like us here on this board, is one I definitely agree with, though.

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Trying to analyze a poll as to why it turns out the way it does is pointless. Just like the Jazz Journalist Association Awards, there is a diverse group of voters with different tastes who hear different releases throughout the year. I have participated in both Francis Davis' Critic's poll and the Downbeat Critic's Poll for years and I don't really enjoy ranking albums as "best" in any category, it is more about listing some of the releases that I enjoyed which I had the opportunity to hear. If I see even one or two in the compiled Top Ten list I'm surprised, as I don't feel like I follow the herd mentality that seems to honor the same artists over and over again. I feel the same way about star ratings, but some outlets insist on them. I haven't received any releases by some of the female artists cited in this aritcle (in some cases, never), so it is hard to justify purchasing a CD just so I can consider voting for an artist, although I've spent almost 33 years writing about jazz and 17 years producing a jazz radio program.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Dmitry said:

In music, the equality of opportunities cannot guarantee the equality of outcome. 

Why should we assume there is equality of opportunities.

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6 hours ago, Guy Berger said:

Why should we assume there is equality of opportunities.

Is there real tangible evidence of otherwise? 

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Life is fair.

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