Thursday, January 14, 2010
I'm sad to announce the passing of my long-running long-neglected but ground-breaking website, jazzsupreme.com.
Back when I was a newly-initiated Iyawo in my Santeria faith, spending a year dressed in white, trying to be good and avoiding going out and about in a normal social life, I conceived of a website that would fill a void for jazz lovers. Back in 1996 there was a buzz around spiritual jazz, but no music blogs, few essays, few discographies, and little information to be had about what had become my favorite music: the "kozmigroov" sound of folks like Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Leon Thomas and others.
So I spent my copious free time writing, designing and setting up the site on AOL's servers. To my amazement the site really struck a nerve. I found musicians contacting me and fans contacting me, everyone expressing gratitude for finally creating a resource for spiritual jazz. I met and became friends with Leon Thomas himself through the site, as well as many many other people around the world who shared information, shared music, and shared their love of the music. I continued to refine the discographies fairly regularly as long as the site, "Ian's Guide to Spiritual Jazz" was hosted on AOL. Up until this week I have continued to receive weekly emails from people who stumbled onto the site. I've even been stopped on the subway -- more than once -- by people who recognized me from my photo on the site.
A few years into the site I was approached by an entrepreneur--a real fan of the music--who wanted to help out with it, perhaps turning it into a great resource for spiritual jazz, or even potentially a profit center. I was eager for his well-meaning help, and he helped me re-host the site from AOL onto his public server under my own domain "jazzsupreme.com." Somehow, though, his life and my own went through some changes, and though the site was up and running at its new home I stopped updating it and our plans for building on it never materialized. When AOL emptied its servers in the last year or two I was sad to see the old surviving mirror go, but was happy to have jazzsupreme.com go on, even un-updated and badly behind the times. My own musical web focus passed to blogs like this one and especially Ile Oxumare, where I get to write about music as well as provide a space for it to be shared.
Well all good things come to an end. The entrepreneur's business has suffered in the current economic climate, and he is no longer able to host the site or renew the domain. As of today, jazzsupreme is no more. I'm not able to take on the financial responsibilities myself either, so I'm going to have to let the site pass on into memory.
I'll probably post some of the more interesting writing here, in this wonderful medium that the Google/Skynet overlords graciously provide for free, but for now you'll have to press that "cached" button in your Google searches to retrieve any of its content (unless anybody reading this not suffering under our modern economy has a server and would like to re-host the site!).
Thanks to everybody who helped make the site such a success. Ago lona, the road goes on before us.
Good news update, Feb 25: Jazzsupreme lives!