Unlike many sites, all of our searches are what is called 'Smart Searches'. In other words, they work a bit like Google searches - search results are ranked, with the highest scoring results presented first in the list. The little green numbers in brackets like '' are the scores. Higher means a closer match. As a result, there is usually little to be gained by going past the very first page of results. (When the default search is used)
By default, the search function will try to match a single portion of a word, a word, or a phrase in all fields (spaces count!). The list returned is limited to about 90 items, so you may need to be more specific if you get too many matches. The entire database is always searched in the default mode. As the search proceeds, once the first pages of items is filled, items with lower scores are removed and replaced by higher scoring items.
Example: "I'm looking for a jazz album. Joe somebody or other... Title was something about a horse, maybe. Seems like that was back in about 99 or maybe 98." Put in 'joe' for artist. Type in 'horse' for the title. Also type in 'horse' for the description area - just in case memory is faulty. Type in 99 for the release date (street date). Select jazz. Now do the search. Try it! Look at the match numbers to see which results were closest.
On the advanced page, you can also select another type of search by selecting the option 'Do a more strict, linear search, highest ranked at top' on the 'Select Search Type' selector (last option). This is also a smart search, but is much more strict in what it shows. It is meant to be used when you are searching for multiple terms.
For example, you might search for an artist name of Matt, but only want to see items in the CD format. So you would type 'Matt' in the artists name field, and select 'Compact Disc (CD)' in the format selector.
When you do this, this type of search will show only items that have 'Matt' in the Artists Name field, and also are in the 'Compact Disc' format. It will not drop items with lower scores as the search proceeds, so it does make sense to look at pages after the first one (if there are any) for more results when this search option is used..
Solo artist's names are listed last name first, like 'HACKETT, BOBBY'. They are also all in upper case. So a search with 'HACKETT, BOBBY' in the artist field will usually get you more accurate results than a search on 'Bobby Hackett'.
On the other hand, if you are looking for an artist that may be listed only as a sideman, their names are often listed in the 'Descriptive word or phrase' field in more the usual format 'Bobby Hackett' so a search in this field will have better results.