A few years ago I had the idea to take a look at the issue of jazz record producers. I made some calls, attended sessions, and wrote several drafts of a big-picture piece. It sat a while, because it was an inside story written for an outside perspective. I just couldn’t make it compelling for a general-interest readership.
Good thing we still have jazz magazines. This month an updated version of the piece appears in Down Beat; here’s the digital edition, for all you non-subscribers. I was happy DB decided to run it, as my byline hasn’t been in those pages since early in the last decade.
I’d be curious to hear thoughts on the piece. My inbox this morning included a note from Marco Valente at the Italian jazz label Auand Records; I won’t quote from it here, because it may be going into the next DB. But the basic point was a philosophical alignment with the Pujol school of producing (or non-producing), rather than the Eicher school. (If those names make no sense to you, read the piece, Jack.)
So what do you think, jazz internets? Is there still a role for the conventional jazz producer? Or have the artists themselves -- like Christian Scott, above -- more than picked up the slack?