Editor-at-Large Peter Bacon clicks through the screens on the what’s-on application for London and the wider South East.
The final Jazz In London, the printed leaflet that had become the bible for anyone wanting to find some live jazz in the city, came out on 1 April last year. If you’ve been waiting for its shiny, bright digital replacement, jazzlondonlive, to be available on iPhones and iPads, that wait ended a few weeks back. So what does it look like?
And how do you review an app? Well, unlike the album or the live gig, where some background knowledge of the artist, some widely open ears and an equally open mind are necessary, reviewing an app probably works best from a starting point of complete ignorance, aided and abetted by a little stupidity and ineptitude. Ideal for this reviewer, then. br/> Does it look nice? It does. Musicians Sarah Chaplin and Mick Sexton, with the help of Agicent Technologies, have carried over the pinks, purples and greens from the website.
Does it work quickly? It certainly seems to – and that’s on my sometimes sluggish iPhone 5. It’s perfectly simple to use, which is what an app should be, I reckon.
Does it have want I want? It does, with the What’s On listings the first stop and likely to be most of the time. It lists 16 gigs happening this evening, from Ronnie’s and The Vortex to the Bull’s Head and Le Quecumbar.
Does it do more? Yes, with added points of entry being a list of Jazz Venues, list of Jazz Artists and a News & Reviews section. Particularly good is the style of the Jazz Artists entries, which not only give you a picture and a short biog, but the opportunity to click on a When Are They Playing Next? button and from there to a list of their upcoming gigs. Similarly the Jazz Venues list does the same with the button asking What’s On This Month?
I know the old Jazz In London leaflet built up great affection, especially among musicians – I only have to mention it to Birmingham Conservatoire’s Head of Jazz and frequent freelance musician Jeremy Price for his eyes to go all dewy – but really, jazzlondonlive‘s app does seem to be the future. And, as new venues, musicians and links to reviews are added, it’s only going to get better.
Oh, and it’s free.