Members: start a music review section?

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a participant on Audiogon for the past 18 months or so, and much of that pleasure is directly attributable to the fine contributions made by our members. I am an avid jazz listener (perhaps apparent from some of my posts), and buy a substantial number of CD's and the occasional LP. With the price of CD's, I dislike spending $15-18 on a recording that is either poorly recorded or fails to appeal to me. Hence, I often rely on professional reviews, but they can cover only a limited number of releases each month. Then I thought: Eureka! Why not start a music review section to take advantage of our collective listening? We have some real expertise within our ranks, and it would be great to tap that knowledge (especially helpful for the newbies).

What I have in mind is asking interested members to contribute good, well-written reviews when they encounter a recording that deserves mention. For example, I have just purchased an excellent 5-CD set of recordings by Art Pepper titled "The Hollywood All-Star Sessions", which were done during the last few years of Pepper's life. I am still listening to the last 2 CD's in the set, but will plan to contribute a review of 500-1000 words of this very fine boxed set.

Would anyone else be willing to commit to writing a review or two each month? (Remember, the idea here is to provide a quality review, commenting on the music as well as the recording quality.)
Sdcampbell: After your latest dissertation on Jazz Sax I would read intently anything you wrote as I am new to Jazz and high-end. My only question to you would be: How do you allow people to submit their review without an e-war being started as many of the threads seem to be these days?. I would think some simple rules might be in order. I know people have a right to speak their minds but I would want to encourage reviews, good or bad, than discourage them. This is a great idea and an example of how good this site can become as long as we don't shoot the messenger.
I agree completely, but would add a twist to it. I don't think Audiogon will go for it, because it is very intensive, but it would be so useful.

First you have to have a great search engine, so that you can find what you are looking for. There are many sites out there with good search engines, but most of them are selling you something (CDs etc) so they have the resources to make great search engines. The search engine for this needs to be even more comprehensive than just artist, title, label. It also needs to have a keyword search, such as sax, piano, vocals, because coupled with a particular genre you can find the best jazz vocals for example.

Second you have to list all the recordings of an artist (or all that have been rated by members). By this I mean the reissues as well as the originals.

Third you should have scales to rate sonics and performance separately. Each A-goner can put in their ratings for that recording and it will keep an average by which others can view.

Now with the ratings and that super duper search engine--you can find the best of whatever you are looking for based on A-goners opinions. Very useful indeed!!

I am fairly new to the Audiogon forums, but your posts certainly stand out as being especially insightful. You are a very good writer and I appreciate your taste in music. I am a jazz fan, leaning to the cool or west coast side of bop and favoring piano jazz. Some of my favorite artists are Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Drew, Duke Jordan, Wynton Kelly, Red Garland, Keith Jarrett, Andre Previn, Hank Jones, Art Tatum, Kenny Barron, John Lewis, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Brad Mehldau, Lynne Arriale, Barry Harris, Hampton Hawes, and McCoy Tyner.

I think the idea of regular CD reviews by members is fantastic. Your recommendations have been very helpful and I have purchased a few CD's you have reviewed, including the sublime Chuck Israels discs.

Coincidentally, just today I was thinking that I should post reviews on some great CD's I have discovered from little-known labels like Reservoir Music, Criss Cross, and SteepleChase.

Count me in for a review a month, though my posts will surely not be as polished as yours.
abstract7: what you seem to be suggesting is a replication of the customers' ratings system on my reading of sdcampbell's query is his calling for something much more modest. it would, indeed, be wonderful to have a fully-searchable archive for all threads. i think/hope that audiogon already has that in mind for its latest round of forum enhancements. it would be fun, i think, simply to have a music review section, with author's providing two to five paragraph posts of the sort one might read in s'phile's "mini-reviews." i'd be willing to contribute to such a section, concentrating mostly on my main areas of interest: folk/blues and "adult rock." -kelly
Kelly: I didn't know Amazon did reviews like this. I got the concept from a variety of things, Netflix (great DVD rental site by the way), the Tracking Angle's scale, and the search engine at CD NOW. I thought I was being over ambitious about this, but wasn't aware it had been done. I still think it's valuable here on A-gon, because I would believe the ratings (particularly sonics) from the people here on A-gon. I agree with SDs idea--I just want more--why not ask? Who knows, maybe A-gon will get part of it incorporated and phase in more as time goes on.
I volunteer to be the token redneck reviewer here at AudiogoN. [:)] The past recommendations by members of this site have been the single most helpful experience, for me, in my pursuit of new music. I would also like to share what I find to be enjoyable, hoping someone else might too. Charlie
Yes, I think that either a thread (or a spot) for this would be very nice. You people will tire of me quickly though, if I participate, as I am still picking up 25 or so CD's a month on an average and am not really into main stream music.
Sdcampbell I support the idea specially since member suggestions can dececrease the ammount of discs in your that you might acquire that at the end just hang in your rack without been played that much...
My two cents is to not complicate the thing that much so more people feel comfortable enough to contribute and avoid the expectancy that they should be not a source of controversy or as stated above by Wire head "shooting the messenger"

I'm also interested in jazz and good suggestions are always
I could chip in for classical. With many others here listening to classical, we might end up with a selection archive of a few, well argumented and recommended "five star" performances for certain works. The quality of the recording, however, doesn't always go in hand with the performance...

I wonder what A'gon has to say regarding the extra server space?
Am I missing something? I don't understand why we need A-gons permission nor why they would mind. We agree on the forum titles such as "Classical Review" or "Jazz Review" and start now. If Arnie likes what he sees and wants to help out by refining the search criteria, so much the better. We all have some relatively unknown gems to share. For instance: "The Kenny Rankin Album" recorded in 1977. One of my male vocal references. Fantastic sound on vinyl or CD. Guaranteed to melt anyone of the female gender.
Elgordo: Good suggestion--I just started a thread--let's see what happens.