Academic journal article Notes

Jazz Music Library

Academic journal article Notes

Jazz Music Library

Article excerpt

Jazz Music Library. Alexander Street Press, LLC. August 2010 to December 2010). [Requires a Web browser and an Internet connection, Microsoft Windows 98 or higher/Macintosh 10.0 or higher, sound card with speakers/headphones, and Adobe Flash Player 7 or higher. Subscription pricing ranges from $995 - $3,000, depending on number of simultaneous users. Consortial or package discounts may apply.]

Founded in May 2000, Alexander Street Press (hereafter ASP) began with the aim of publishing large, digital collections in the humanities and social sciences. The company entered the realm of streaming audio in November 2004 with the acquisition of Classical Music Library. In April 2009, ASP announced the release of Jazz Music Library (hereafter JML) with an initial offering of 18,000 tracks (representing 3,800 artists and licensed material from dozens of record labels). With this new service, ASP aspired to be the "largest and most comprehensive collection of streaming jazz available online" with coverage in "every jazz genre and time period." (1) JML is available as a standalone subscription or through ASP's Music Online Listening Package, which offers aggregated access to all of ASP's streaming audio databases. (2)


As of September 2010, JML contained nearly 6,000 albums, totaling nearly 69,000 tracks. ASP staff notes that by the end of 2010, JML will include 100,000-120,000 tracks. The database currently includes 5,841 albums from 77 record labels. Initial reports indicated that JML included 5,888 albums for 109 record labels, though upon closer inspection it became clear that this estimate was in error, as the company's master list contained duplication of thirty-two labels.

Presently, recorded materials in JML span from the 1920s (four works) to the 1990s (3,776 works). In this context, the term "work" represents either an entire album or (in the case of albums containing material recorded in various years) one or more tracks. Though the total number of works does not correspond neatly to other reported data (works will be greater than the total number of albums and less than the total number of tracks), the breakdown of works by recording date is useful for a more informed view of the database's coverage (see Figure 1). The majority of works in JML have recording dates from the 1950s and 1960s. Together these two decades account for 14,221 works. In comparison, the last quarter of the 20th century is represented by 9,195 works.

       Number of Works in JML

1920s     4
1930s     3
1940s    73
1950s  6943
1960s  7278
1970s  3175
1980s  2244
1990s  3776
2000s   163

Fig. 1. Number of works in Jazz Music Library arranged by decade of
recording date (as of 1 December 2010)

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Though JML currently includes seventy-seven record labels, many of these offer only a few recordings. Nearly 20 percent of the labels include only a single recording. More than 50 percent of the labels include ten or fewer recordings. The four labels with the largest representation in JML--Universal Classics & Jazz (802), Verve (676), Blue Note (671), and Prestige (567)--make up 46 percent of the database. See Figure 2 for a breakdown of the number of albums available, by label.

A&M Records                      9
Angel Records                    8
Argo Records                     2
Audiophile                     179
Blue Note                      671
Blue Thumb Records              11
Cadet Records                    2
Capitol Catalog                 25
Capitol Records (new release)    1
Chrysalis Inc                    1
Concord                        331
Concord Jazz                    53
Contemporary                   162
Counterpoint                     1
Debut                           13
Decca Records                    5
EMI Belgium                      1
EMI Brazil                       1
EMI Canada                       3
EMI Catalog (USA)               10
EMI France                       7
EMI Germany                      1
EMI Italy                        4
EMI Japan                        6
EMI Norway                       1
EMI Poland                       1
EMI Sweden                       1
EMI UK                          17
Enigma USA                       1
Fantasy                         76
Galaxy                          19
Geffen                          16
Good Time Jazz                  51
GRP Records                    258
Hifijazz                         2
Higher Octave                    9
Impulsel Records               112
Interscope                       7
Island Def Jam                   8
Jazz Alliance                   19
Jazz Workshop                    2
Jazzland                        30
Jazzology                      287
Lyrichord                        1
Mark Custom                     11
Marsalis Music                   3
Milestone                      269
Mixed Repertoire                12
Mode Records                     1
Moodsville                       3
MPS Records                      8
Narada                          33
Neon Tonic                       3
Nessa                           13
New Jazz                        35
Nocturne                         3
Original Jazz Classics         140
Pablo                          276
Peak                            48
Period                           6
Playboy Jazz                    10
Polygram                         2
Prestige                       567
Ranwood                          1
Riverside                      314
Specialty Records                4
Stretch                         36
Swingville                      10
Tampa                            1
Universal Classics & Jazz      802
Universal Music                107
Vanguard Records                 7
Verve Forecast Records           5
Verve Records                  676
Virgin Records America           3
Wirripang                        1

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