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From the August 29, 1997 ComputorEdge (Issue 1535)

By Jim Trageser

Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame

The Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame is a fairly incredible online resource. There are biographies of most of the major jazz artists from history (with more being added all the time), descriptions of the various styles of jazz (on the timeline link), and a sound files of many of the included artists.

The information is fairly well organized: There is a multiple variable search engine to let you search for jazz artists by, say, pianists or by be-bop or by name. (And on the search engine page, they have a link to their bibliography – tagged "View our Reference List" – that provides a wonderful starting point for anyone wanting to learn more about the music.)

And they have just about every major jazz artist here, from traditional standard-bearers like Count Basie and Benny Goodman to the way-out, modern types like Henry Threadgill and Ornette Coleman.

Could it be better? Sure. More photos of the artists would be nice, as well as more sound clips (hint: Under current copyright law, for review or educational purposes one can "quote" up to 20-second sound clips without incurring royalties). The sound clips are a bit large and take a while to download, but I can't see a way around that except for the cable companies to keep pushing the envelope on speed. Also, it would be nice to have links to other resources, such as jazz labels or publishers of jazz books. And visitors ought to be able to get to the biographies without having to use the search engine; a simple alphabetical listing would be handy.

Still, for pure educational content this site is pretty hard to beat.

Doctor Love

So I get e-mail from this guy saying he needs my help. Well, I don't know what I can offer, but he's certainly right about needing help.

First off, when you go to his Web page, Doctor Love claims to understand women – the first male to do so in 6,000 years, he says (and just which man was it who understood women 6,000 years ago, anyway?). So we know from the get-go that the man is either seriously deluded or ethically challenged on a Clintonian level.

Anyway, Doc Love's Web site outlines his "system" for understanding women. Quite frankly, obtuse male though I am, I find women infinitely easier to understand than Doc Love's bizarre ramblings about romance. It's no worse than other romance self-help books out there; you know the type, "Women Who Pick Their Toes and the Men Who Take Them Bowling." That sort of thing, only online.

Here's my admittedly cynical take on the whole thing: Anyone pathetic enough to need this type of advice is probably beyond help, even from Doctor Love.

But the site is free, although the doc sells tapes and books designed to help you make women fall in love with you (why one might want that he doesn't explain, either).