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A Conversation with Jazz Critic Ben Ratliff

Author of the book "Every Song Ever"

Ben Ratliff

In his new book, Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty (FSG), veteran New York Times jazz and pop critic Ben Ratliff offers a series of essays that conjure new ways to absorb and think about music during a time when seemingly all the world’s recordings are a stream away. Traversing a strikingly wide range of genres and eras, Ratliff urges music fans to bridge their listening via big-picture concepts like repetition, speed, emotion and virtuosity. Here he answers a few questions about the purposes, practices, virtues and vices of close music listening.

When is a wealth of listening options too great? How can engaging with recorded music in the age of the cloud be dangerous?

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