I'd love to be able to see some stats as to what the most popular jazz artists are. A top ten list of artists, a top ten list of most streamed jazz songs, most listened to albums, etc. Is this info avaiable at the moment? I can't find it if it is.
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I love jazz, but I find that Spotify is almost always late to the party when it comes to jazz artists of the younger generation.
I love all genres, buy I'm a jazz musican, so that's my 'go to' genre. I revel in the fact that Spotify has such a 'deep bench' of classic jazz. More Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk than I could ever want (and I want a lot). That's great for the 'moldy fig' in me, but jazz didn'tt end in 1968.
I also love keeping up with new music. For example, I spent several days this month listening to every release on the Metacritic Top 100 for 2014. Metacritic ratings are based on reviews by music critics, which makes their list vastly superior to, say, the Billboard Top 100, which is based on sales and radio play. You may be interested to note that there is almost no crossover between these lists. Every single relese on of the Metacritic Top 100 was on Spotify for our listening pleasure.
Jazz has a much smaller listener base than it once had, and there are not many professional jazz critics any more. For that reason, not many jazz releases made the Metacritic Top 100. No problem. I went to the NPR 2014 Music Critic's Poll.
That's when the disparity became achingly clear. Spotify actually carries only a fraction of the biggest jazz new releases, to say nothing of the lesser known acts. Just as an example, as of today, Spotify carries only six of the top ten releases on NPR's 2014 Critic's Poll, and neither the number 1 or number 2 releases are on Spotify.
Here's another way this problem manifests itself. When generating radio selections Spotify almost never presents anything released since around 1980, and the vast majority of songs are from twenty or thirty years before that. Even if I thumbs down everything by Duke Ellington and thumbs up everything by, say, Joshua Redman, Spotify continually returns to the jazz that was popular in the days of our grandparents.
As a musician and music fan, Spotify is a little slice of heaven. Actually it's a pretty big slice. It would have the whole cake if it could keep up with the exciting and prolific young artists who are propelling music forward.
Thanks for Reading, and
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