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Digital Rhythms: Embracing Online Music Distribution

The inside of Robert Caldwell’s rec room could double as a boutique gallery featuring images of jazz legends. There’s Dizzy Gillespie caught in performance at … Read More "Digital Rhythms: Embracing Online Music Distribution"
The inside of Robert Caldwell’s rec room could double as a boutique gallery featuring images of jazz legends. There’s Dizzy Gillespie caught in performance at … Read More "Digital Rhythms: Embracing Online Music Distribution"

The inside of Robert Caldwell’s rec room could double as a boutique gallery featuring images of jazz legends. There’s Dizzy Gillespie caught in performance at New York’s Royal Roost in 1948. The picture is joined by Art Kane’s “Jazz Portrait Harlem 1958.” There’s also Ray Charles, Miles Davis and others. For Caldwell, a high school English teacher who resides in a Baltimore suburb, the aesthetics of jazz are just as important as its rhythms and melodies, which he collects on vinyl and compact disc. At last count, about half of his few thousand titles are jazz.

Caldwell doesn’t download music, ever. He’d rather drive as far as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to rummage through the bins at music stores, even though the artists he seeks are just a few clicks away on his home computer. “I like the feeling of going into a store and seeing the products there and searching and sometimes gambling on artists I never heard of before,” says Caldwell, 43, who’s been buying music since the third grade. “I always read all the liner notes, and I eventually see these artists playing with other musicians or coming out with their own projects.”

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