Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Jazz

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WikiProject Jazz (Rated Project-class, Top-importance)
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And othersEdit

Occasionally when I had the audacity to remove an article from the project that I considered "not jazz", people insinuated or stated bluntly that I was narrow, exclusive, deletionist, conservative, puritan, purist, snobbish, and for good measure asserted that I was violating the sacrosanct Wikipedian commandments against ownership and POV. I was being none of those things. Nor was I being audacious. I was being bold by taking the initiative. It's interesting how "audacity" gets defined as both boldness and rudeness. When a pragmatic person is confronted by idealists, these kinds of sparks fly. I found EddieHugh's moderate, balanced approach to be a model for all of us. Rarely was he excessively emotional. Rarely was his judgment self-serving. To use figurative language again, which I usually advise against, his compass pointed toward Earth rather than the clouds. (see Aristophanes)

Occasionally I was asked, or it was insinuated, what difference it makes if Wikiproject Jazz includes articles that are tangentially related to jazz or that have nothing at all do with it—so long as a consensus has been reached.

Taking the most obvious objection, it's called Wikiproject Jazz, not Wikiproject Aluminum Siding. If aluminum siding interests you, then work on Wikiproject Aluminum Siding. Calling a spade a spade and not an ax is important for practical reasons. Many projects exist to cover many subjects. I understand the purpose of a wikiproject to be a method of cutting down the territory to make it manageable. The territory is big: Wikipedia has over SIX MILLION articles. It needs to be managed. Who is going to do all that work? For free? EddieHugh has done most of the jazz work. I did a little. A few others chip away per their interests. Most people who contribute to Wikipedia are interested in "doing their own thing". That's not 100 percent bad. But it's a narrow approach. It's the beginning of an approach, not the end. It's a peephole rather than the Grand Canyon vista that one ought to have.

Including "not jazz" articles creates unnecessary work. It adds to the long list of articles which are incomplete, unsourced, and poorly written. There are many such articles on Wikipedia. They diminish the credibility and reliability of Wikipedia and everyone involved. Moreover, there are many articles which are not really articles. They consist of lists or tables or "paragraphs" of one or two sentences. That's not an article. It's an impulse. It doesn't help anyone. It's usually done for selfish reasons. It does more harm than good. These "placeholders for the future" are essentially an act of faith that a mysterious stranger will come along and solve our problems for us: finding sources, formatting them, adhering to the rules of Wikipedia in impartial, grammatical prose, thus removing all those ugly maintenance templates and red links that have been left for some mysterious Other to do. I have argued that this kind of thing is usually irresponsible. It's not a crime. But acts of faith don't get articles written. Work does.

I agree that for practical reasons the project can't favor one type of jazz over another. But it should be restricted to jazz just as Wikiproject Basketball should be restricted to basketball. When I try to remove Sade from the jazz project, I'm not removing a type of jazz. Sade doesn't belong to a type of jazz. She's a pop singer. Nearly all the sources I've seen concur. Sade never called herself a jazz singer. I went through this with an article about Steely Dan. The two members of Steely Dan denied they were a jazz band. Yet an experienced member of Wikipedia, after insulting me, insisted that this didn't matter. I think it does. It's the height of arrogance to say that some critic knows the band better than the band knows itself. Serious musicians know what kind of music they are performing.

Why is "and others" a useless phrase? It isn't. It's worse than useless. It's deceptive. What "others" are you talking about? How do I know? Do I take your word for it? That's not what encyclopedias do. Encyclopedias use information from reliable sources. "And others" is vague. Encyclopedias are specific. "And others" is open-ended. Encyclopedias define. To define something is necessarily to put limits around it. Some people dislike limits. They need to grow up.Vmavanti (talk) 15:18, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

I've gone through this with the Topper Headon article (see discussion) (and Charlie Daniels, over at Commons). I'm not as active (on Wikipedia in general) as I once was, so maybe it's not for me to say, but it's up to WP:JAZZ do decide what is or is not in their purview – this is explained (for WikiProjects in general) at WP:PROJSCOPE. It might help to remind others that inclusion (or exclusion) from WikiProject(s) is not part of the article categorization scheme. There is a notice to that effect at the top of the WP:JAZZ banner's talk page. If WP:JAZZ collectively feel that Meghan Trainor (as another, although uncontested, example) is outside its purview, then that's WP:JAZZ's business. We've previously gone over this (see archived discussion – wow, almost 10 years ago!). Having said all that: I would suggest avoiding language such as "they need to grow up" when referring to other editors. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 16:31, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
Consensus is an important part of Wikipedia, but it's not a commandment. It's not a moral absolute or the Most Important Thing. I think it would be dumb if Wikiproject Jazz included Meghan Trainor given that she is a pop singer, not a jazz musician. Consensus can't change that. Including Meghan Trainor simply because a consensus thinks it's OK would be taking the guidelines for Wikiproject to absurdity, leaving behind common sense. Applied properly, "consensus decides the purview" means raising questions such as: Is Spyro Gyra jazz? Should we include third stream? How is free jazz different from avant-garde jazz? What is the difference between New Orleans jazz and dixieland? Are Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett jazz singers? Those are the kinds of questions I expected to face when I started working on the project. But I never encountered them. Instead, I had to waste time talking about Frank Zappa, Van Morrison, Sade, Soft Machine, and Blackstar. Self-interest came disguised as argument and principle, if not moral absolute. In other words, the people who argued with me about Van Morrison et al were fans of Van Morrison et al and they wanted to believe, for whatever reason, that their idols were jazz musicians. That's why the arguments were so heated. Such people had no desire to be impartial. They couldn't distance themselves from their own biases. They had feelings rather than reasons. Over the years I have tried to communicate to people the difference between practical definition and impractical open-endedness—something defined versus something undefined. To be able to get work done, decisions have to be made, judgments have to be made, lines drawn, limits established. A house has a blueprint. A parcel of land has boundaries, otherwise you wouldn't know where to build, what was yours and what belonged to someone else. The absence of boundaries is a fantasy.Vmavanti (talk) 17:14, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
I think maybe I wasn't clear — we (more specifically, I) did not include Meghan Trainor in WP:JAZZ, and there was no consensus (nor any discussion) to do so. Again, it's not in WP:JAZZ's purview. Or maybe I'm confused about something else — because I believe we're in complete agreement, where that article is concerned. (EDIT: My apologies, but now that I've gone back and looked closely, Meghan Trainor was a bad example for me to use in the first place. The WP:JAZZ banner was never there at all — I misremembered that it had been inserted on Talk:Meghan Trainor as an automated by-product of article categorization, the same thing that did happen with Topper Headon. When I said "uncontested," I meant that no one complained that I removed WP:JAZZ from the talk page but — again — I'm misremembering that this even happened in the first place. WP:RSM's banner, though, is a different story...)
Please keep in mind that Wikipedia:Consensus is one of Wikipedia's "five pillars." So when you say you disagree, I'm unsure as to what — with WP:PROJSCOPE? With WP:JAZZ's previous consensus regarding the talk page banner? Or with WP:CONSENSUS in general? Because if it's either of the first two, it seems to me we're actually in agreement.
In the future, if all else fails, you could always come here and ask "Does xyz belong in WP:JAZZ?," and then point to the resulting discussion here on this page indicating whether or not WP:JAZZ feels it should have anything to do with that article. It does come up here now and again.
FWIW, my personal criteria regarding an article's relevance to WP:JAZZ are, for example, "would I find this artist's/group's recordings in the 'Jazz' section of a record store?" (Although by this time some readers might rightly ask, "What's a record store?") Or, "is this person included in The Allmusic Guide to Jazz?" Etc. If the answer to either of these is "yes," then the article's probably within the scope of this WikiProject, regardless of my own feelings toward the subject. -- Gyrofrog (talk) 18:00, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
This is far from the first time that Vmavanti has run into difficulties with their approach. Vmavanti would perhaps benefit from reading WP:OWN, WP:EXPERT and WP:CONSENSUS. Consensus is a commandant on Wikipedia. Bondegezou (talk) 12:11, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

I hadn't paid attention to the Template Usage notice before; perhaps I hadn't even noticed it, as it doesn't display on article talk pages. "the template indicates that members of WP:JAZZ may have something to offer in terms of improving or even maintaining the article, so it should be added to articles only with significant jazz content" sounds good to me. If someone objects to the removal of the project template from an article that's peripherally related to jazz, respond with 'this article doesn't have significant jazz content, so doesn't merit inclusion in the Jazz project, per the project's guidelines (link to Template talk:WikiProject Jazz)'. EddieHugh (talk) 13:34, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

That is useful wording. The problem comes when a certain editor insists that their view of whether an album contains "significant jazz content" or not should override the views of other editors and reliable sources. Bondegezou (talk) 14:37, 1 February 2020 (UTC)
It isn't my approach that's the problem. I know better than to refer to individuals in third person plural. The difficulties here are created by the internet and by unfriendly busybodies who read between the lines to achieve their own idealistic agenda. Since we are recommending reading, I recommend Gulliver's Travels and The Clouds by Aristophanes. There's no need to refer me to documentation I have already read many times. I am the last person you will see violate WP:OWN. Look at some User pages. I'm not the one who keeps track of "What I Did". I am one of the few people who doesn't have a trophy shelf like that. I get it, but it's not what Wikipedia is about. I agree with most of what Gyrofrog says. There was miscommunication. I understood the Meghan Trainor example to be hypothetical. He wanted clarification on my views about consensus. Obviously I'm not against consensus. I'm against the misuse of consensus as it has been applied occasionally to the jazz project by those motivated purely by self-interest. I'm against the idealistic fantasy of infinite expansion and what gets called "openness", though it is really the opposite of openness. I strongly agree with Gyrofrog's standards and examples of the record store and AllMusic as good arbiters, keeping in mind the problems that have arisen regarding the latter. I have stepped away from Wikipedia, for the most part, so there's no need to panic. I imagine there are people who will probably find it easier to "get their way" and "do their own thing". That should reduce the acrimony and anxiety. Call it a gift. But don't say I "gifted it".Vmavanti (talk) 15:53, 1 February 2020 (UTC)

G.T. Hogan and Wilbert G.T. HoganEdit

Drummer G.T. Hogan, according to AllMusic, was also known as "Granville Hogan, Wilbert Hogan, G.T. Hogan, W.T. Hogan, and Wilbert G.T. Hogan". But that's written by Eugene Chadbourne, who usually concentrates on trying to be funny instead of conveying useful information. Grove, in its biography of "Hogan, G(ranville) T(heodore, Jr.)", warns: "Hogan should not be confused with the drummer Wilbur (Wilbert) Hogan (d New York, 1967), who also worked with [Randy] Weston, toured with Lionel Hampton in 1956–8, and played with Frank Foster's big band (1964–c1966)." Feather & Gitler has only Granville Theodore Hogan, Jr, with no Wilbert. So: was there a G.T. Hogan and a Wilbert Hogan, both drummers, or just one person? All help appreciated. EddieHugh (talk) 19:37, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Proposed change of AllMusic templateEdit

  You are invited to join the discussion at Template talk:AllMusic#Set field question. Gyrofrog (talk) 20:45, 19 March 2020 (UTC)

Return to the project page "WikiProject Jazz".