Sunday, June 11, 2017
Gently Down the Stream
As I sat behind a camera that was transmitting a live internet broadcast of a performance by the Chris Burnett Quintet at Westport CoffeeHouse last week, I contemplated the validity of the bandleader’s assertion that “this technology will create more performance opportunities for artists in an age where live venues and clubs are not capable of booking all of the artists on the scene today.”
The impulse is commendable. Given the scarcity of jazz venues and the ostensible tyranny of the owners of some establishments, many musicians are undoubtedly eager to circumvent the existing gatekeepers. Even so, I wondered if Burnett was delusional for requesting that online viewers pay for the privilege of joining the 18 flesh-and-blood members of the audience in the room during the 30 minutes I spent taking in the first set. He was competing with a vast universe of free live video content, including feeds on the behemoths Facebook Livestream and YouTube’s Live channel. Remarkably, Burnett reports that 11 people forked over money to watch the concert online.
I hope Burnett continues the initiative. For the purposes of Plastic Sax, however, I’m more desirous of shareable footage. The shortage of well-lit, high-quality performance videos of representatives of Kansas City’s jazz community occasionally results in dubious weekly Now’s the Time posts that inspire derisive commentary from Plastic Sax readers.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)