Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's Been a While

Dear Readers: 

I stopped writing back in September, exactly three months ago today. My reasons were many. 

First, I had a lot going on in September and not as much time to write as in previous months. And then once I took some time away, so many CDs had come in and were backed up that I got paralyzed, not knowing where I wanted to start. 

But really those were convenient excuses for what was really ailing me, which became clear once a few weeks went by and I didn't return to the blog. Frankly I was bored with myself; not with the music but with my reactions and writings. It felt like I liked a lot of what I was hearing but nothing was standing out to me as head and shoulders above the rest. My ability to differentiate between various artists and CDs seemed to be slipping away; too much was beginning to sound similar within the sub-genres of my mind. I was liking an awful lot of what I was hearing and wasn't sure why -- was it a lack of discernment on my part, was I buying safely and not exploring, was I just tired? And I was tired of the same adjectives and adverbs too boot -- how many ways are there to say lyrical or exciting or coloration after all?  

So I stayed away from writing and just listened to the music, forgot about thinking about the music in any critical way and just absorbed it, enjoyed it. I explored, I read what others were saying, I ordered things that sounded interesting in advertisements, blogs, and reviews, and kept the hope alive that I would sometime return to writing with a renewed sense of what I was doing. And maybe some new perspectives on what I was saying and the words I was using. 

I thought about what my original mission statement was -- to identify for other listeners like me what I liked and might be overlooked  -- CDs by new names, CDs by veterans who I thought were not appreciated, CDs from outside the U.S.

My biggest problem though was my feeling that I was liking too much and not loving enough music, that I was overwhelmed by the quantity and losing track of the quality. That nothing and everything stood out at the same time. But maybe it was true, that there is a lot of good music being produced. I was supported in that viewpoint by reading what others were saying about new CDs, many of which I had purchased, and finding that so many were written about positively. Evidently I am not alone in finding that there is truly a lot of good music being produced, on commercial labels and by self-producing musicians. 

I think I am back, I think that I know what I heard in the last three months that stood out from the pack, and what within the pack was also special. The test will be looking back on the year and identifying my favorites for 2013 and seeing if I really know what I like and what I love. 

I hope I still have some followers. Thanks for sticking with me. And happy holidays too. 

David Sampson

1 comment:

  1. Hi David,

    You definitely have me as a follower, and it's GREAT to have you back. You have an amazing talent for finding and writing about Jazz albums and artists. Your writing is down to earth and very enjoyable to read.

    I can't tell you how many great Jazz albums I've listened to based on your recommendation. Looking forward to seeing your complete Best Of list of 2013.

    Whatever you do, don't stop the music!

    Have a very enjoyable holiday season.