The Jazz 100 (Part 4 – Responding to listener questions and comments)

So now you’ve seen the list of the Jazz 100, heard some basic analysis, and have received the opinions of jazz hosts Robin Lloyd and Abe Beeson.

Today, I will respond to listener questions and comments regarding the Jazz 100. Since I will be offering my opinion and final thoughts tomorrow, I will do my best to keep my answers as straight ahead as possible today.

From “Aspicdandy”: “Nothing by Sun Ra??? Are you crazy? This is a lightweight puffpiece of The Usual Suspects that gets played over and over…About as daring as a grilled cheese sandwich.”

Kevin: Sun Ra had a couple of songs nominated, but I don’t recall any of the 2,800 voters voting for a particular Sun Ra song more than once or twice off the top of my head.

From “DB in Bremerton”: “Amen – and no Stan Kenton? No Maynard Ferguson? (For you kids, look them up…)”

Kevin: Stan Kenton actually came pretty close, and there were several nominations for Maynard. Unfortunately, just not enough support among voters for a particular Maynard track.

From: “David Stevenson”: “ahem ahem….this is a Seattle-based jazz station who did this? Where the heck is mention of anything by Django!?! Come’on folks, Seattle jazzers should know better!”

Kevin: The voting was in fact posted on KPLU.org, but it was also posted on a variety of other websites, including npr.org. My best guess is that Puget Sound voters account for maybe 30% of the vote.

From: “John Leffler”: No Pat Metheny, with 15 Grammy Awards for jazz?

Kevin: Pat Metheny, as well as other “modern day” jazz musicians (such as Wynton Marsalis and Michael Brecker) received a large amount of nominations for songs on this list. In most cases, however, it appeared that voters did not agree on what the “definitive” Metheny tune(s) might be. As a result, no one particular song received enough support to make it into the top 100.

From “T. Camajani”: Take Five over Stolen Moments? WTF?

Kevin: Take Five was an overwhelming choice from every website that received votes. It actually had twice as many votes as the number two song, “So What.”

From “Victor Hong”: This is a pretty good list. However, I think there was a problem with the methodology. We were asked to vote for the top 5 songs, from which they then compiled a list of the top 100. Unfortunately, I think that causes a lot of repeat voting for the songs most people would consider in the top 10. It would have been more accurate to ask us to list our top 20 choices.

Kevin: You make a very good point, Victor. I think it is very true that I would have seen a lot more variety of songs if people were allowed to pick more. I’ll use a sports analogy: If you are asked to pick the top five basketball players of all time, its likely that Michael Jordan and Larry Bird are going to be repeated over and over, but if you are allowed to pick your top 20, you might see a greater variety of players getting more votes. We did see over 1,500 different songs nominated, but it is true that if people could pick more than 5, some songs on the fringe of the list might have received more support.

From “Riffster”: I do have to wonder how much the recent attention to Brubeck’s 90th birthday influenced the list. (I’m not saying he shouldn’t be on there, but he might not have been first.)

Kevin: Good thought. Take Five was the first jazz single to sell a million copies, and Time Out is typically one of two or three albums that starts most jazz collections, even today. So while his birthday did get a lot of attention, I still feel that either way Take Five would have had a strong showing.

From “Mike Harmanos”: Not even any Weather Report on this list.

Kevin: Birdland, by Weather Report actually came in at #8.

The Jazz 100 (Part 3 – Thoughts from Robin Lloyd and Abe Beeson

The Jazz 100 (Part 2 – An Audio Discussion with KPLU’s Kirsten Kendrick)

The Jazz 100 (Part 1 – The List)

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