About Me / Review Requests

[Updated:  November 27, 2014]


BitW square avatarMy name is Dave Sumner.  This is my site.

I’m obsessively focused on jazz in the present tense.  Every week, I scour the jazz new releases listings for anything that sounds interesting.  I’m all over the self-produced and small-label releases.

I write a weekly article for Wondering Sound (which was spun off from music retailer eMusic.com’s original editorial blog) in which I recommend new jazz (and related) recordings.  I’m the former AllAboutJazz Download of the Day editor… some of you will recognize my name from that stint.  I also sporadically write for Music is Good.

I also write fiction novels, though that’s not the reason you’re viewing this page right now, is it?  More relevantly…

I’m not a reviewer or a critic.  I’m a recommendation engine.  I find the best of the best and I get the spotlight on it.  I write about the music as best I can, but my value to the scene is in the search, not the scribing (see? awkward word usage).  I’m not gonna be trashing albums or musicians on here.  There’s too much great music out there to be wasting time talking about music I don’t like.  But like anyone with an opinion, I can be abrasive, so don’t expect a series of fanboy posts, either.  I am a jazz advocate.  I love this music.

My inbox is always open to jazz musicians and labels.  If you want me to review your album for this site, go ahead and contact me and we can talk about it.  If you send me a promo cd, the only promise I can make is that I’ll give it a solid listen; anything after that is reliant on my personal taste in music and the whims of my schedule.  I should warn you, I’m pretty much flooded with emails and promo cds on a daily basis, so in many instances, I never respond to email queries.  I’ll read the review request and listen to the music, but if it’s not something I plan to write about, I just move on to the next album.  I know this seems rude, but time is so scarce that I have to cut many things out in order to get around to listening to all the music… email responses is, unfortunately, one of the things that had to go.

Before contacting me about writing an album review, you should read this column first —-> LINK

In summary, your request for review should be comprised of the following items:

  • A subject line of:  Review request- [Artist Name] – [Album Name]
  • A link to a Soundcloud/Bandcamp/Artist Site/etc page that I can stream the album in full.
  • A link to where I can immediately download the album (if necessary).
  • A one-sheet or an equivalent that tells me a little about yourself and when the album is going to be released.
  • Any other links that you think would be helpful (label, album personnel, retail, videos, etc).  This is optional; don’t sweat it.

If I need a copy of the CD, I’ll request it.  I know those things are valuable to you, and I’m not gonna ask you to send one unless I think there’s a chance that I’ll need it to write something up.

If you’re a label or PR rep, and you would just prefer to mail me CDs, then just say so and I’ll send you my mailing address.

Something very important to note (and this may not be definitively stated in the column linked to above)… there’s almost no chance I’ll write something about your album on my site if I can’t embed an album track with the recommendation.  So, have an album track uploaded to Soundcloud or Bandcamp or Vimeo before even contacting me.  If you want to do a Private Soundcloud upload and email me the code, that’s totally fine.  But I am quite firm in my requirement of an embeddable track.  No matter how strong my reputation becomes and no matter how well I might write about your album, nothing will get the listener to follow the retail link and buy it than hearing the music itself.  If you have any questions about this, don’t be afraid to ask.  I’m happy to go through your various options in more detail and talk you through them.

Also worth noting that the embed requirement does not apply to the Wondering Sound column.  I’ll listen to and write about any new jazz release that I think should be included in the column regardless of any music being embeddable.

I am available to write liner notes, artist bios, and other featured content.

I am beginning to offer promotional opportunities on Bird is the Worm.  If you are a label, artist rep, or artist, and would like to discuss proposals, please feel free to contact me.  Rates are reasonable.

I occasionally hang out at the eMusers forum (www.emusers.org) and shoot the breeze about music.  It’s a small forum full of members with great ears, great and varied tastes in music.  Like a forum of Ted Gioias.

Thanks for visiting Bird is the Worm.



23 Responses to About Me / Review Requests

  1. Hello Dave, I wanted to thank you for your review about my record Sintra Project, i was not expecting something like this and i´m really glad with it, and it is an honor to have what you wrote about my music, i hope that we can keep in contact for you can listen my next works, sory for my bad english.
    Best regards
    And congratulations for your site and excelent reviews.

    Ass: Ricardo Pinto

    • davesumner says:

      Hey, Ricardo.

      Thanks for the kind words.

      My email address is above. Please feel free to shoot me a message when you have new projects in the works. I’m always interested to hear cool new music.



  2. John Yao says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks so much for reviewing my album on http://www.birdistheworm.com. I really appreciate your kind words and am thrilled that you enjoyed the record!

    Also, thank you adding me to the MP3 download of the day on all about jazz, very happy to be part of that part of the site.

    As I was reading the review, I noticed one minor error. You have “Joe” Irabagon where it should be “Jon.” Can you please make this minor edit?

    Thanks so much.



    • davesumner says:

      Hey, John. Thanks for visiting.

      I’m happy to have discovered your music, even happier to help share it with others.

      I’m looking forward to hearing even more, including something from that big band of yours.


      P.S. Fixed Jon’s name. Amazing that something like that can slip through no matter how many times I edit something. Even more incredulous, I spelled his name correct two sentences later. Unbelievable. Well, edited now.

  3. John Yao says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks so much for making the minor edit, not to worry. I’ve done that a million times myself! Thanks again for taking the time to write about my record. I’ve been working on a Trio Project as well as the Big Band and look forward to getting it you soon.

    Thanks again!



  4. Chelo Segui says:

    Hi Dave
    thank you so much for reviewing my album “From Now On”,
    I appreciate your interest!
    Take care
    Chelo Segui

    • davesumner says:

      Hey there, Chelo.

      Happy to oblige. Thanks for stopping by the site. Be sure to keep in touch as you move on to new projects.


  5. John Hart says:

    Hi Dave,

    Just thought you might like to review the new album by Ping Machine, Encore. I’ts a fine piece of music, wonderfully recorded.
    Lots of those lovely vibes on this one!

    Keep up the good work on your excellent site.

    Best wishes
    John Hart
    Lincoln, England

    • davesumner says:

      Hey, John.

      Thanks for stopping by and the kind words.

      I’ll have to look into that Ping album.



  6. i would like to thank you for the review about my music and my new cd.its is so nice targeted just like i had talk to you.Really made me happy and more strong to keep on writing new music.thank you so much Dave…

    • davesumner says:

      Hi, Christos.

      Thanks for stopping by the site, and you’re certainly welcome for the album review.

      I dig through the new jazz releases listings almost daily, and it always thrills me to find under-the-radar albums, like yours, that stand out from the crowd.

      “Wish You Could Stay” is a real enjoyable album, and you should be proud of it. I highly encourage you to keep at it and write more music and continue working on your craft.



  7. Paola Rosati says:

    Dear Dave, thank you so much for your review of our first self-produced record. I would remind you and your readers that we have a YouTube channel where you can listen for free our music, we are also present on Reverbnation, I tunes, amazon and other for purchase and we have a facebook page for those who love jazz sung in Italian. Waiting for you. Thank you again. Here our link

    Thank you again
    Paola Rosati



  8. Hey Dave,

    Thank you so much for recommending “Violinization.” It is my debut album and I’m honored to see that you selected it. Your comments about my “particular voice” on the violin and the album “unexpected views” perfectly reflect what I was aiming for with this project.

    Best wishes,


  9. Hello Dave! thanks for your review… cheers from SudoKu KilleR

  10. Kirk Sellman says:

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your reviews. It may take a number of reviews before I find that perfect album, but I wouldn’t have found it without your recommendation. Thank you.

    • davesumner says:

      Hey, Kirk. Thanks for the kind words and I’m genuinely happy that you’re finding some favorite music on the site.

      And I totally know what you mean about having to crunch through a few misses before finding the album that hits you just right. The music I spotlight on this site covers a pretty wide expanse of sounds and influences and approaches… and much of it tends to be on the innovative/experimental side of things. That kind of music is only gonna have so much across-the-board appeal. It sounds like you’re going about it the right way… pressing play on the audio, giving it a chance to grab you, passing on the stuff that doesn’t and jumping on the stuff that floats your boat.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope to hear from you again.



  11. Wanted to thank you for directing your readers in the direction of Pomegranate, and for writing the most graceful and magical one line description of the work to date.

    • davesumner says:

      Hey, Stephen, thanks for the kind words and for stopping by.

      And a truth that I find to be perpetually inspiring is that no matter how well I may write about a particular album, those words will always pale in comparison to the lyricism of the music itself. Pomegranate is yet more evidence of this fact. And I’m grateful for it.



  12. Brad Fleming says:

    I have been intending to express my gratitude for your ongoing efforts to provide such a wealth of quality recommendations and from places other than the better known domestic sources. It took your brief hiatus and return to spur me to take time to write. It is an undertaking, albeit a rewarding one, just to listen to your recommendations. I can only imagine the volume of music that you must listen to to come up with your lists. I really relate to your ear/taste and don’t often come upon a recommendation of yours that I don’t enjoy. At any rate, I really appreciate what you do and encourage you to keep going as long as you stay inspired which I hope is a very long time. Thanks! –Brad

    • davesumner says:

      Wow, that’s a wonderful thing to read when I hop onto my site.

      I appreciate the kind words, Brad, and I’m genuinely thrilled to hear that you’re finding plenty of new music that floats your boat. Thanks for stopping by, and, yes, I plan to keep this site going (and your ears busy) for a very long time.



  13. Good to see I’m not the only one suffering from this addiction! Keep up the great work…..


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