Jazz Around the World

Recently, we have been curious about the readership, especially since thejazzmonger blog went through a protracted period of idleness last year. So, I checked into our usage statistics a little bit. We found some surprises… some very pleasant surprises. First, we have been averaging around 65 hits per day, recently, with the high being 82 hits and the low being 50. So the traffic has been pretty steady. That’s good, I think.

Kudos are due to the great folks at WordPress for providing a terrific vehicle to let one speak to the whole wide world. If you have ever given any thought to expressing yourself in blog form, I encourage you to check out the great package of services and assistance  provided there.

But, what really surprised us was where the visitors are logging in from. Naturally, most connections originate in the United States, with the United Kingdom and India (both predominantly English-speaking countries and very heavily wired-in) coming in second and third. It was the overall distribution that was a revelation. Over the last seven days, we have logged visitors from thirty-eight (38) different countries.  And I am quite stoked about that.

Any disappointments? Yes, a couple. We would really love to be picked up more in Japan. The Japanese are well-recognized as sincere fans and aficionados of good Jazz. One fine exampleof this is the excellent site Jazz in Japan, edited by Michael Pronko.  Not only does he thoroughly cover the Jazz scene in Japan, but he writes with passion and talent on some surprisingly (for me) provocative subjects, such as Jazz and ZenThis guy has stretched my horizons considerably. Maybe our problem, here, is that thejazzmonger just doesn’t measure up to this kind of material. Michael gives us something to shoot at.

And the Japanese are not just fans. Many important contributors to the genre are from Japan. A case in point is one of my favorires, Gota Yashiki, about whom thejazzmonger wrote lovingly some time ago (Cf: http://wp.me/ppvVJ-al).  thejazzmonger needs to put in some serious thought on how we might appeal to this sophisticated audience, in the future.

Another disappointment is the low showing from Switzerland. I have some family, and a couple of good friends in Switzerland. We bagged one hit for the week. C’mon family!

We draw some encouragement, though, from what we think are pretty good numbers in some other places. Fifty-three hits from India and Pakistan, combined. Twenty from Greece! The Greeks have plenty going on, right now, so we are gratified that a few of them had time to drop by. One hit from the Russian Federation, probably Vladimir Putin, unwinding from another election rout.

WE invite any, and all, visitors to come back often, comment as you see fit and, please, drop us a note via the “Contact Us” link, introduce yourself and let us know where you sign in from.

Here is the chart

Gota – Man of Many Talents

Continuing the short series of posts on some of the newer artists and groups that I listen to regularly, I have to give a big shout out to Gota. His full name is Gota Yashiki, but he performs and records under his first name only.

I am listening to this guy all the time. Whether it’s CDs in the car or the big system at home, earbuds stuck into the laptop, or the SanDisk player on an airline flight, a little Gota always perks me up.

Gota Live

Gota Live

Born in Kyoto, Japan, a young Gota learned traditional Japanese Drums. In 1982, at the age of 20, he moved to Tokyo and became a drummer in various reggae groups and started experimenting with electronic dubbing. By 1988 Gota was based in London and heavily involved in studio remixing and working on film soundtracks. He also worked with a number of top recording artists and groups.

Moving beyond just his talent for drumming, Gota became heavily involved in the programming of electronic instruments and remixing. He recorded and toured with Simply Red, and contributed to recordings by Seal, Soul II Soul, Swing Out Sister & Depeche Mode. Alanis Morissette has called him the “Groove Activator” on her brerakout album Jagged Little Pill. He played drums and programmed all the electronic instruments on Sinead O’Connor‘s smash hit Nothing Compares 2 U.

Let's Get Started cover

Let's Get Started cover

In 1999 came the American release of Gota’s second album, Let’s Get Started, where I first discovered him. Lend an ear to the title track:

The third track on Let’s Get.. became a No. 1 hit on Jazz radio. Listen to In the City Life

In 2001, Gota released day & night, a strong follow-up to Let’s Get..
Still working in the style of electronic, fusion Jazz, day & night is another strong collection of tunes and one of those rare albums that are great to play just straight through. Track 1, Cruisin’ Your Way is absolutely one of my favorite up-tempo Jazz pieces. Give it a listen:

I hope these samples of this terrifically creative artist motivate you to buy his CDs. I am believer in artists getting paid and the music I put up here is meant only to whet your appetite and turn you into a paying customer.


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