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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Joshua Redman's language: printer friendly version

Joshua Redman's language: printer friendly versionJoshua Redman's language
By Mike Zwerin Bloomberg News
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2005

PARIS You would think that anybody smart enough to graduate summa cum laude from Harvard would know better than to choose to be a jazz musician.

Although Joshua Redman was a hot tenor saxophone player in high school in Berkeley, California (his father, Dewey Redman, was also a hot tenor man), he did not grow up dreaming about being a musician. The valedictorian of his high school graduating class, he won a scholarship to Harvard, graduated summa cum laude in 1991 and was accepted to Yale Law School.

To pass the summer between college and graduate school, he entered the Thelonious Monk Foundation's saxophone contest, and, lo and behold, he won. It was beyond him. He had been chosen.

Redman's Elastic Band has just released a recording called "Momentum" on the Nonesuch record label. Using an organ trio format (plus guests including Flea, the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) with flowing, deceptively simple blue-noted melodies on top, this is a 21st-century version of the electric, funky, backbeat jazz that Miles Davis began to scout out in 1970.

"In the army, there's always one guy 20 or 30 yards up ahead who makes sure the coast is clear," Davis's ex-drummer, Tony Williams, once said. "Then he waves to the other guys that it's safe to move up. Miles was the point man who took all the heat. There are no more point men."

The 36-year-old Redman is a word man. "Language is an exciting thing to me," Redman said in an interview. "I am always running up against the limits of my own language. I am always searching for the right way to express things.

"Sometimes I qualify everything so much that I end up not saying anything," Redman said. "I'm not a writer, but I feel like I have to choose my words carefully. When I started with e-mails, I felt like I had to write essays - complete sentences, caps, proper punctuation."

The sort of musician who writes his own album notes, Redman quickly became a straight-ahead star who defended the acoustic Broadway song-form tradition. His 1998 album "Timeless Tales (For Changing Times)" included the standards "Summertime" and "How Deep Is the Ocean." In the notes, he wrote that the album was about "infinite possibility" and "ageless beauty."

"The conception of timelessness is very different from the concept of nostalgia," he explains. "And classic does not necessarily mean conservative. Basically, what I'm saying is that timelessness is modern.

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    Many of these “spammers” are small-time entrepreneurs searching for a spotlight in a medium (the internet) which is being bought and paid for by Big Guys with oversized ad budgets. In other words, the small-time entrepreneurs see the “spamming software” as a way of competing with the swollen internet expenditures of Fortune 500 companies.

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    On Nov 8th 2005, I began pointing Blog Submitter software to one of my real estate sites. At the time, my site “ranking” on major search engines was reasonable, but not great.

    I purchased Blog Submitter Pro after many months of trying to claw my way up the cyberspace ladder on a peanut-sized budget. Prior to using the software, my site popularity numbers were: Google: 27 links … AltaVista: 589 links … AllTheWeb: 584 links … Teoma: 30 links … Yahoo!: 595 links and MSN: 10 links.

    I have run Blog Submitter Pro V.Search quite a bit between then and now. Some glitches appeared, but overall I felt it was an OK piece of software … or at least a clever one. The fact that it would often post repeatedly to the same blog was a serious problem, but I still felt the program was delivering a shot at cyber stardom. My blogger “comments” were well thought out, and they posted accurately. They were innocuous and unobtrusive messages. An example or two of my typical comments:

    Hi. After suffering through the tree-busting, home-wreaking destruction of Hurricane Wilma, and being away from the Internet for well over a week because Adelphia broadband blew away in the wind, it’s nice to read things like your blog. Even though I really am searching for information on Boca Raton Real Estate, which I might be able to use on my Boca Raton real estate site ... thanks for the read.

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    Blog-skipping is the latest cybersport … sort of like skipping stones across the water … see how many blogs you can ripple through before your fingers stiffen up. It’s an amusing break from working on my Boca Raton real estate site . Your blog has slowed me down a little, because I enjoyed the read. Still … off I cyberskip to the next site :o)

    I had a minimum of ten such messages whenever I turned on Blog Submitter Pro V.Search, validated by ten different sets of “credentials” (blogs I have at Blogger.com, proving I’m a fellow blogger and kindred internet spirit).

    My messages were posted on thousands of blog sites, and the sites were then automatically “pinged” to let the search engines know a post had been made. Then the search engine would come and look at the post and it would be “fooled” into thinking that the site which the post pointed to – my site – was a worthwhile, busy entity in cyberspace.

    The first hint of a letdown came when three of my credentials (blogs I have at Blogger.com) were tagged by the Blogger folks as “SPAM BLOGS” … a DIRECT result of using Blog Submitter Pro V.Search software.

    Didn’t take them long to figure out I was a dreaded spammer. And that, sadly, turns out to be the GOOD news.

    My site popularity ranking on major search engines (the result of many months of hard work prior to using Blog Submitter Pro) was, in my opinion, badly damaged. The exact numbers as of this writing are: Google: 27 links (as before) … AltaVista: 283 links (a drop of 306 links) … AllTheWeb: 71 links (a drop of 513 links) … Teoma: 30 links (as before) … Yahoo!: 286 links (a drop of 309 links) and MSN: 96 links (an increase of 86 links).

    I attribute this damage directly to the use of Blog Submitter Pro V.Search software. I expect my rankings on Google and Teoma to slide on the next update from their search engines (which seems to happen about once a month). I am sure the increase in MSN will also seriously reverse.

    To say I am disappointed in the software would be a gross understatement. I am only glad that I had the foresight to use it on a single website, and not on all of my websites. I will continue to use it on the damaged site to see if it continues to hurt, rather than help. And I will report back to anyone interested. The site in question is http://www.bocasite.com.

    My e-mail is temple@bocasite.com.

    Good luck, folks. I think, with this software, we are well on the road to identifying and, ultimately, watching the suicide of a lot of spammers. And I intend to use the software itself to propagate the message. Poetic justice rules. Spread the word.

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