There is fine line that the thinking/blogging/music-reviewing recording artist must walk. I have never really claimed to be a music critic, but I have written reviews of music that I like here. I find it awkward to be critical of others’ work, while putting my own music out, with hopes of people liking it, and writing positively about it.
The relationship between reader and reviewer is one that has gotten significant, if inconclusive, thought from me on many occasions. I want to be able to judge a critic’s taste from their body of work, then be able to draw my own conclusions about new music based on my balancing of the critics words, and my knowledge of their taste.
I don’t know much of Michael J. West’s taste, but he reviewed For All I Care by The Bad Plus in the March Jazz Times. This is an album that has kept returning my listening bin. There is something that I find very compelling about it, although I don’t know that I can articulate exactly what it is about it that compels me. I do know that the two parts of the album that West singles out as “unlistenable” and “demented…like they’re playing on separate planets” are the two parts of the album that catch my ear as the most interesting.
I guess we all already knew that there are differing tastes in our business, or we would all listen to the same records. I just find it interesting that the same parts of an album can be heard as the best and worst parts by two different, yet seemingly aware and educated, listeners.