Fundamentally, free jazz, with a handful of exceptions, lacks broad popular appeal. The free jazz scene comes together through the promotion of gigs and discussion of musical ideas on social media by attracting like-minded people to topics and sites. This lends support to the notion that only free jazz musicians listen to free jazz music and are very defensive members of a very exclusive club. We point out that it can take generations to develop the requisite familiarity for a change in appreciation to appear. How we respond to something new in terms of music depends on what we have learned and what we remember, the capital in our mental store. We propose that an audience constructs an idiosyncratic but personally relevant sonic environment in the process of listening. An audience without that involvement in the process has neither agency nor a substantial or direct ego investment in its creation. That investment comes, in a somewhat different form, in the choosing to listen to it as an entity. In the reality of listening, the listener is not simply a passive member of the audience responding neutrally and automatically to a live or recorded performance, but by engaging with that music through those biases, experiences and knowledge, is also reconstructing that music as a personally relevant event.