Here’s a free and completely legal way to get into jazz with a mp3 library of over 1000 tracks for your own private, personal, non-commercial use.
If you are new to jazz, this is something you’ll discover early on: jazz musicians aren’t in it for the money. These are artists who look beyond commercial success in order to do what they love As you get to know them, you begin to appreciate and admire their determination, dedication, and sacrifice. Sadly, very few jazz musicians achieve a level of success that corresponds to their talent and hard work. In fact, there are some extraordinarily gifted jazz musicians who don’t earn in a lifetime what a rapper might earn in a couple of months. Joni Mitchell, the singer/songwriter/musician/painter/poet wrote a song that says it all:
I slept last night in a good hotel
I went shopping today for jewels
The wind rushed around in the dirty town
And the children let out from the schools
I was standing on a noisy corner
Waiting for the walking green
Across the street he stood
And he played real good
On his clarinet, for free.
Now me I play for fortune
And those velvet curtain calls
I’ve got a black limousine
And two gentlemen
Escorting me to the halls
And I play if you have the money
Or if you’re a friend to me
But the one man band
By the quick lunch stand
He was playing real good, for free.
Nobody stopped to hear him
Though he played so sweet and high
They knew he had never
Been on their T.V.
So they passed his music by
I meant to go over and ask for a song
Maybe put on a harmony…
I heard his refrain
As the signal changed
He was playing real good, for free.
Real Good For Free (c) Joni Mitchell
So why would I be promoting a way to get 1000 jazz songs for free? First, to promote the artists, and secondly, to promote jazz. The only thing you might consider a “catch” is that you will need to register @ All About Jazz to have access to the 1000+ tracks. If, however, you think it through you’ll understand that your registration serves the greater good. Full disclosure, I’m an All About Jazz contributor, the Internet’s most popular jazz website, run by and for music lovers.
Having lots of traffic allows the website to stay afloat by generating ad revenue – a win for AAJ. Heavy traffic gives musicians a better opportunity to promote their music to thousands of music lovers for free (by doing interviews and by offering a track to AAJ’s daily free mp3 download) – a win for musicians, their fans, and music lover interested in discovering new music and artists. So by registering and visiting the site regularly, you will contribute to a virtuous cycle: the more visitors to All About Jazz, the better the sites becomes, the better the site, the more popular it becomes, this results in a greater bump for artists, and more music and interviews for fans.
Jazz is actually a label that incorporates an extremely wide range of musical styles. Personally, I’m drawn to a spot where jazz, blues, rock, soul, and gospel converge. Real jazzheads will probably enjoy a high percentage of the 1000+ tracks, but I suspect if you are new to jazz, you might decide to only keep one track out of a dozen for your ipod or mp3 player — still, in this case you would have a jazz library of around 100 tracks. Moreover, you’ll probably continue to add 30 great tracks to your collection each year.
Of course, ideally you’ll discover artists whose music you will really love, and you’ll go to itunes or CDBaby and buy more of their music. Hopefully, you’ll make a point to see them live, or let local promoters know about them, and use social networking to let others know about what you’ve discovered.
By going to All About Jazz regularly you’ll also discover lots of interesting interviews, in depth analysis, CD and concert reviews, and great musician profiles. And if you are so inclined, you can post on forums and comment on articles etc. As an example, if you’re into guitar check out the two great interviews (and an extended analysis) that were published with Bill Frisell last month.
With the exception of Kevin Eubanks whom I’ve followed even before the Jay Leno Show, here is a sampling of artists I’ve discovered through All About Jazz.
Artist/Band: Ajamu Akinyele
Album: Black Magic The Cyber Jazz Experience
Record Label: Pearl Jazz Recording Label
Artist/Band: Toby Wren
Album: The Carnatic Jazz Experiment
Artist/Band: Jamie Ruben
Artist/Band: Kevin Eubanks
Album: Zen Food
Record Label: Mack Avenue
Artist/Band: Shan Arsenault
Album: Below Sea Level
To get started, simply click on the photo below which will take you to all about jazz.