Jazz Ringtones � Who Says Art and Commerce Don�t Mix?

Don�t get me wrong, I love VoIP, and think tech is pretty cool, but if I was stranded on an island with the choice of one inanimate distraction, it would be a piano, hands-down. Jazz and blues are real core passions, and when a jazz buddy shared this with me, I just had to post about it.

If you�re a jazz fan, you know all about Blue Note Records - and if you don�t, but want to, look for me at VON, and we�ll walk over to Berklee and go from there. Anyhow, Blue Note recently launched a series of custom ringtones, drawing from their incredible catalog of modern jazz, mostly from the 50s and 60s. The jazz mind thrills to the thought of having the cell phone ring with classics like Watermelon Man, My Funny Valentine or Straight No Chaser. And my favorite, Horace Silver�s Song For My Father. If you�re a big-time Steely Dan fan like me, you�ll really want that one. In case you don�t know it, this is the tune the catchy riff from Ricky Don�t Lose That Number was lifted from. Check it out if you don�t believe me�..

And to whet your appetite,I can think of no better image to bring this together than the vintage Blue Note album from one of my faves, Dexter Gordon � appropriately titled Dexter Calling, with a cover shot of Dex making a call from a phone booth. How cool is that? Of course if Dex was still with us, he'd be doing it today with a mobile phone.

Dexter Callilng.jpg

Nobody ever thought ring tones would be a big business, and it�s incredible what people will � and will not � spend money on. As frivolous as ring tones are, Blue Note is simply extending the idea in a creative way that totally works for their audience. It�s tasteful and hip at the same time � not crass marketing, and it�s not Warholian pop culture. And if it liberates a few disposable dollars from cell phone users and funnels them back to the jazz community, then we have capitalism that even Castro would like.

That�s what�s so great about IP and a lot of today�s other technologies � they work equally well for a large market as for a niche market. In that regard, IP is a lot like the improvisational nature of jazz � it�s flexible, open, and thrives on user-defined content and highly personalized experiences. Now if we could just make jazz as popular�..

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