16
Sep 05

Don’t know what you got till etc.

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 227 views

The Nu-Guardian reaches Friday and so it’s time for the new look Review, or rather Film & Music. And something leaps out at me. They’ve replaced the old “at home with…” feature, in which musicians talked about their favourite records and how they listen to music, with, ahem, We’re Jammin’ by Pascal Wyse, “where we will subject accomplished musicians to a jamming session with me and my trombone – to find out what they play, how they play and what it feels like to be inside their music”. The first subject is Jamie Cullum.

This isn’t a bad totally idea, though for me the ‘good idea’ aspect of it is mostly encapsulated in the word “trombone”. It’s a shame it had to replace the previous feature, though: asking recordmakers about how they consume and use music can be so illuminating, and allows them to talk about such a variety of things – their inspirations, their recommendations, how what they listen to affects how they work. In comparison talking about playing music with them seems more limited (though in a clever stroke the paper makes the results of the jams available for download): anything technical is likely to be edited out, after all.

And of course there’s the question of how wide Pascal Wyse’s definition of “musician” is going to stretch – another good thing about the old feature was how it would occasionally reveal the musical nous of ‘manufactured’ stars and the conservatism of the well-respected. Little chance of that here, I think.

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