CD Review / Article Guidelines
Thank you for your interest and commitment in writing for jazzreview.com. Here are some guidelines to help you in writing the reviews and articles for the site.In return for the CDs that we send, you agree to submit a review of that CD within a reasonable amount of time after receiving it (usually 30 - 60 days). The review will be approved and published at jazzreview.com within five days of its submission. Do to our limited budget, we can not offer compensation for your reviews other than you keeping the CD. However, writing for jazzreview.com is a great way to gain exposure for your writing and to continue supporting the music we love.
USE OF THE FORMS
On the submission form there are certain fields within the tabs that are required to be filled in, in order for your submission to properly go through to the database. Please fill in as much information as you can about the CD. Adding the track listing, musicians and links to the artist's website, adds to the readers experience.
A credible review should be between 250 to 500 words. However, writers who want to expand on this and write more, are more than welcome to. This is not a hard and fast rule, just a guideline to give you an idea of length. Remember, reviews of 6 or 7 sentences do not really count as a review, they are more of a preview than a review. Our readers are looking for a bit more to chew on.
Don't use ALL capitalized words in the title or body, unless you are doing so for emphasis.
Be very sure to proof your reviews for spelling, punctuation, usage, accuracy and readability. You should use a word processor such as Microsoft Word to write your reviews, which will allow you to, not only check the spelling but the word count, punctuation and grammar.
Please give your very best effort in describing your feelings and the musicians' direction on the CD to the reader so they can in theory almost hear the music through your writing. Try to be as descriptive of the CD and its content as you can. For example, what is the style of jazz,? Is their playing style similar to anyone else the reader may know? Who might this CD appeal to? Did it include covers or original songs by the artist? How was the musicianship? Does one instrument dominate the recording or song? What particular qualities of the CD or its production did you like or dislike? Is there anything special about the cover art, liner notes or booklet? If appropriate, you might want to consider including some background or biographical information on the artist or recording session.If we didn't send you enough background information on the CD or artist, please try a search of the web or check out their website or the record label's website.The above comments are just suggestions to help you think about what to include in the review, please use them as guidelines only and write in your own style.If you just don't like the CD we sent you, please let us know by dropping us an email. We would rather you didn't write a "completely" negative review just to write a review. There are enough good jazz CDs that we can review without wasting time on the bad ones. This does not mean you cannot be critical or true to your feelings, it just means don't bother writing a review of a CD you absolutely did not like, unless you can be fairly objective about it.
Helpful Interview Guidelines and Tips - Conducting an Interview by Editor - Suzi Price
JazzReview is organizing the way we handle requests from publicists and record labels in conducting interviews for their artists. While we cannot compensate you, we are hoping you will enjoy the benefit of personal contact, the artist's CD and guest passes to performances. Thank you for helping to promote jazz and for making JazzReview something to be proud of. We ask that you read the following tips and guidelines to assist you with your assigned interview.You will be sent a list of artists available for interview via email and may opt for your favorites. Assignment of interviews is based on your interest and knowledge of a particular jazz genre. Fairness in assigning the "biggies" is always a consideration. You will be given equal opportunity to interview some of the best know artists in the business. Once you have been assigned an interview, you will be accredited to the label or publicist to verify your legitimacy. Your contact information will be given, allowing you to directly correspond with the label via email to set up a convenient date and time to conduct the interview. Remember to remind the label or publicist the time zone you will be calling from so no interviews are missed due to miscommunication.When conducting an interview, be prepared. Maximizing the time you spend with an artist is very important. The artist may not have a lot of time, so utilize the opportunity to its fullest.
Before the Interview
You will be sent a press kit of the artist you have been assigned to interview. Press kits include a bio, photo, CD and other relevant information. If you are a bit unfamiliar with the artist and their work, please do some preliminary investigation on your own through the Internet.Even the best-known artist can sometimes present a problem in giving you all the information you may want. You can well imagine how many interviews they have done over their lifetime. In such cases you may want to use the narrative in writing your interview, capturing the quotes you do have. New and up & coming artists are an open slate. You won't find much information beyond their press kit, but they will be happy to tell you their life story and hopes for the future.Try to limit your interview to 30-45 minutes. You will know when an artist is becoming tired of answering questions. That amount of time will give you enough information to write an interesting, informative interview. Readers will appreciate it also.
Personal, Telephone, and Email Interviews
Personal Interview: When possible, JazzReview will try to obtain a personal interview for you with the artist. A personal interview is accomplished when the artist is playing or residing in close proximity to where you live. A guest pass can be obtained for you to see the artist and obtain the interview. Bring a hand-held mini tape recorder with you.
Telephone Interview: Most interviews are handled via telephone. Long distance calls to the artist can be accomplished with an inexpensive telephone calling card. Your cost for a 45-minute interview is usually less than $3.00, a small price weighed against the free CD you received in the press kit.It is suggested you purchase a tiny telephone-recording device from Radio Shack for less than $20, which hooks between your telephone and recorder. It's far easier to conduct an interview. Transcribing from a cassette or other format ensures you have all the essential information. Please be sure to ask the artist's permission to tape the interview before you begin recording.
Email Interview: Some artists prefer an email interview. Prepare a series of questions and wait for their response. Because we've all experienced what computers can do, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, save a copy of the artist's email response to your questions on floppy disk or CD.
Interview Dos and Don'ts
Use common sense and courtesy when conducting an interview.Artist's telephone numbers should be held in strictest confidence and never called other than during your pre-arranged interview. Doing so will create serious results.Always arrive early when meeting with an artist in person. Don't allow them to wait for you to arrive. The same holds true when arranging a telephone interview. Call at the pre-arranged time.Always be professional. Remember your conduct represents all of us at JazzReview. And please remember to thank the artist for their time in conducting the interview.
During the interview
- Never use profanity or make sexual remarks.
- Never express negative remarks about other artists or comment negatively about other artists and their performances.
- Never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs when performing an interview.
- Never use questionable information the artist tells you, rather ask if you may quote them. If in doubt regarding questionable answers, ask if you may quote them before using it.
Writing and Submitting Your Interview
Most interviews are arranged through the label or publicist to coincide with the artist's new release. You will be given ample time to receive your press kit, conduct the interview, and write and submit it for publishing. Interviews may be written in Q&A or narrative format.
Since we have arranged the interview for you on behalf of JazzReview, your commitment is to provide the written interview to JazzReview for publishing. You retain your copyright for the written interview and after submission, are free to do anything else you want with your written article.
Always use "JazzReview:" when prefacing your question to the artist in your written interview.
Please do not use your name or initials. Preface the artist's response to your question with his full name i.e., "Michael Brecker": Please do not use their initials.
Most Common Grammatical Errors
Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks. For example: Her new album is "Wish on a Star." Or,Her new album, "Wish on a Star," is outstanding.If a question is in quotation marks, the question mark should also be placed inside the quote. She asked, "What is the name of that CD?" Exception: Here the question is outside the quote: Do you agree with the saying, "All's fair in love and war"?Only use the word "it's" when you are contracting the words "it is" or "it has" - For example: It's in the bag, or It's been raining.Use the word "'its" when not contracting such as: Its purpose is to bring jazz to the forefront.
Photo Gallery Submission Guidelines
For guidelines on submitting photo galleries, please refer to the page dedicated to "How to submit a photo gallery"