You get weird responses to reviews sometimes. You expect to receive "you liked it, I thought it sucked" responses or the reverse as well as replies that add to the information, dispute it, what have you. You even anticipate hearing from those who are convinced you have an evil agenda, are part of a cabal determined to topple all they consider holy and good in favor of the execrable crap you like.
But sometimes I have no clue what people are going on about, why they bothered to set fingertips to keyboards. I posted a write-up of the Tilbury/Beckett disc at Bags the other day, one that I greatly enjoy. Walter Horn, who I know pretty well and who, in fact, was really the first person to convince me to write about this stuff in more than a poster capacity way back when, threw in a sarcastic line (reprinted in its entirety):
I didn't know that, in addition to reviews of movies, comic books and chocolate bars, I could also find reviews of radio plays and suchlike here at bags. Sweet. There's like nothing at all we bags guys don't know, is there?
I've no idea what to make of that. I assume he objects to the fact that I reviewed a radio play. Now, had he asked about my background knowledge in such, something I in fact alluded to in the body of the review (that is to say, not so much), fine. Were someone to post, "I've heard a dozen renditions of 'Cascando' and you might want to hear X, Y and Z before you assign such high marks to Tilbury because, in that context, he ain't no hot stuff!" again, fine. But posts like the above come across as snippy and crabby, nothing more. I happen to know that Walt, in many areas, knows his stuff very well so the remark is all the more baffling.
Then, one "A Chair" (yes, I love it when people don't have the balls to use their real names) chimes in with:
Consider that this is a Matchless recording featuring John Tilbury. Now that you mention it, if any of those guys came up with their own chocolate bars or comic books, that would be hilarious.
The second sentence is merely silly but what to make of sentence number 1? The best I can do--it would be wonderful if people were actually explicit, no?--is that it's a contention that anything on Matchless with Tilbury automatically generates a rave. Well, no. I forget if I wrote it up or not, but the first duo with Eddie Prevost (pre AMM break-up) certainly wouldn't have gotten one from me. True, there's nary a pianist I'd rather hear than Tilbury so he's more likely than not to get a positive response, but he's been involved in several things over the last few years that have left me cold, including that piano trio on Emanem especially. And, for what it's worth, the Beckett recording was something I purchased, under no obligation to review. I only did so because I thought it was very special.
Not to carp so much, it's just that the level of discourse gets a little dispiriting at times.
Sabine Vogel/Magda Mayas/Michael Renkel - phono phono (absinth)