Earlier this summer my attention was drawn to a website called Videoverse. Videoverse is part of a wider website called Encore Music Lessons which is based in the United States. Encore Music Lessons is a database which gives people the opportunity to find lessons and teachers in their local area on any of the main musical instruments; be that guitar, piano, woodwinds, drums etc. You can click the local state of your choice, then click county which reveals local teachers in your area. The teachers list their biography, achievements, testimonials and contact details. This is an ambitious and comprehensive project which I would imagine is growing all of the time as more tutors learn of the website and make their services available.
Videoverse is designed to be part of the education process; to inspire aspiring musicians as they check out the masters on video. Videoverse claims to be “the first curated collection of the best music related videos on the web”. Videoverse also claims not to use any clips or “no junk” as they put it. In the left hand column you can search for artists in a variety of genres ranging from rock, r&b, pop, soul to jazz, avant garde and folk. There are also different categories you can search for including performances, interviews, talks and lessons. You can even search artists by decade.
As far as jazz goes, the site is definitely centred towards the legends or shall we say masters. Typing Miles Davis gives you seven pages of options ranging from Miles in concert to appearances on talk shows and sidemen of Miles Davis. Oscar Peterson returned six pages of information and John Coltrane returned four pages. I thought I would type in some other artists to see what I would get. I tried Bela Fleck which returned three videos. Robert Glasper, Joanne Brackeen and Dianne Reeves returned no results. Surprisingly, John Scofield only returned one result as part of the McCoy Tyner trio. There is no question that Videoverse solely concentrates on the founders of jazz and modern jazz.
A lot of great artists are not on Videoverse right now who I would certainly consider masters, they may be from the later generations but I think their achievements are of sufficient merit and they have certainly inspired the latest generations of musicians and singers to come through. Videoverse is a very interesting website and will only get better over time with a wider database of great jazz musicians for aspiring musicians to learn from and the public to enjoy.