The opportunity arose to acquire a great streaming music product inexpensively, so I seized it. We now have Alexander Street Press’s Jazz Music Library.
If you’re counting, that makes two streaming jazz products to which we subscribe; the other is the Naxos Music Library Jazz. You may be asking yourself why we need two streaming jazz products. Well, jazz isn’t particularly the specialty of Naxos– for most intents and purposes, we’re barely paying for it, since it’s bundled with the larger Naxos Music product–so they’re lacking some of the music labels you might expect to find, like Concord, Riverside, or Verve. In that respect, Alexander Street does a better job of capturing what feels like a more complete collection of recordings.
Nothing’s perfect, unfortunately, so you still aren’t getting, for example, a lot of Miles Davis, owing to the salient absence of Sony. Also gone missing is Blue Note. But overall, they provide a reasonably solid product.
Here are the details from the “About” page:
Jazz Music Library will be the largest and most comprehensive collection of jazz available online—with thousands of jazz artists, ensembles, albums, and genres. At launch, the collection includes works licensed from legendary record labels, including Audiophile, Concord Jazz, Contemporary Records, Fantasy, Jazzology, Milestone, Nessa Records, Original Jazz Classics, Pablo, and Prestige. Labels being added include Circle Records, GHB Records, Good Time Jazz, GRP Records, Impulse, Peak, Riverside, Solo Art Records, Stretch Records, Verve, and dozens more. Note that not all labels are available in all territories.
The list of artists is enormous, ranging from past greats to musicians performing and recording today, including: Abbey Lincoln, Andre Previn, Art Farmer, Benny Carter, Bill Evans, Billy Strayhorn, Bix Beiderbecke, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie ByrdCharlie Parker, Chet Baker, Chuck Mangione, Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Dizzie Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Eric Dolphy, Gerry Mulligan, Grover Washington, Jr., John Coltrane, Karrin Allyson, Lester Young, Marian McPartland, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Ramsey Lewis, Rosemary Clooney, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Thelonious Monk, Tony Bennett, Wes Montgomery, Zoot Sims, and a long list of others. Liner notes to all the albums are included (in PDF format) as well as static URLs to each track and album in the database. Content is added on a regular basis, and exciting new materials will be highlighted on the home page, so please check back regularly for updates. We aim to release new content monthly, and we are focusing on releasing a large number of albums as possible for each release. Once the albums are released, we then add in additional indexing for each album, including detailed instrumentation and performer information.
If you have any questions about using this product, feel free to ask. One thing I’ll point out now is the “Playlists” link at the top, which is a nice way of creating an annotated list of tracks, which you can then make available to your class or to the entire university (example).