For some time now, I have been toying with the idea of visual analysis of jazz album cover art, as cultural artifacts, and being able to view them/group them using different filters, such as average brightness, color saturation, hue, style, etc., in a way art and cultural historians may find interesting. “Visualizing Blue Note”, or some such project. Take, for example, the Mark Rothko Paintings on the 287 Megapixel HIPerSpace Wall at CatLit2, or Mapping Time, both by Lev Manovich et.al. Such a project would be interesting, and is still worthy of pursuing.
However, I am also just now beginning to see the value of processing the metadata associated with thousands of jazz albums, using spreadsheet software and something like Mondrian. Such information as instrumentation, group size, dates, leader and sideman info, sales numbers, genre classification, etc., might yield some insights, and some patterns might be recognized to inspire further study. So now my task lies in finding, choosing, and cleaning the data to make it useful.