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Chuck Nessa

WBEZ Chicago

120 posts in this topic

...

I haven't heard WDCB.

I have. If WBEZ's programming was fairly vanilla, WDCB's is even less interesting. Then again, I'm a partisan of the far more cutting edge WNUR show.

NUR rules!!!!!

And how powerful is their transmitter now? When I lived in Chicago (5000 N - about a mile from the border) I had to drive to Evanston to get the signal. I taped a show for them once and had to ride around in my car to get the friggin' signal.

nur.org rules...

So they turned off the transmitter and "stream" only? Thought we were talking about Chicago radio stations.

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...

I haven't heard WDCB.

I have. If WBEZ's programming was fairly vanilla, WDCB's is even less interesting. Then again, I'm a partisan of the far more cutting edge WNUR show.

NUR rules!!!!!

And how powerful is their transmitter now? When I lived in Chicago (5000 N - about a mile from the border) I had to drive to Evanston to get the signal. I taped a show for them once and had to ride around in my car to get the friggin' signal.

nur.org rules...

So they turned off the transmitter and "stream" only? Thought we were talking about Chicago radio stations.

...certainly valid and anticipated, but my 'radio' is now a computer.

Edited by alocispepraluger102

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I don't think that management at most stations take format changes lightly. It is a major disruption and there obviously will be a degree of support lost. But in our market, the jazz numbers never were what we expected them to be. The jazz programming during the week is long gone, with a couple of syndicated shows still hanging on.

NPR isn't the only network available, though it is the major dog. But all of the networks had better be careful about offering too many of their most popular programs on satellite services, or stations will be wondering why they're paying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars while people in their markets can get the same shows elsewhere.

Let's face it, for some markets, underwriting and membership received a huge boost once NPR news programming was added to the mix.

I hear what Ken is saying.

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And how powerful is their transmitter now? When I lived in Chicago (5000 N - about a mile from the border) I had to drive to Evanston to get the signal. I taped a show for them once and had to ride around in my car to get the friggin' signal.

nur.org rules...

So they turned off the transmitter and "stream" only? Thought we were talking about Chicago radio stations.

No, no, no. WNUR still transmits over the air at 89.3 FM at 7200 watts from the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston. You can get the signal on the northside of Chicago (I live at 3200 N and get a clear signal). The Jazz show airs weekdays from 5am to 12:30pm Central (wnur.org for those out of transmitting range).

And Chuck - if you're ever in Chicago, we'd love to have you into the station as a guest.

-Jason

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From the Chicagolist web site:

Interview: Daniel Ash; Vice-President, Strategic Communications; Chicago Public Radio

For an organization that depends on good communication, Chicago Public Radio <http://www.wbez.org/> discovered yesterday that the plans for the future of their programming aren’t being heard clearly by their audience.

2006_04_cpr.jpgAfter we posted yesterday on Chicago Public Radio’s move towards a more talk-based format at their three broadcast properties <http://www.chicagoist.com/archives/2006/04/17/wbez_now_with_less_music_more_talk.php>

(WBEZ in Chicago, WBEW in Chesterton, IN and WBEQ in Morris, IL), we were contacted by Daniel Ash, the Vice-President of Strategic Communications for CPR. In an interview with Chicagoist, he acknowledged that “the way [WBEZ] 91.5 sounds during the day is going to be the way it sounds 24/7,” and that strictly music-formatted programming blocks will no longer be featured.

But he stressed that CPR still plans on serving Chicago’s jazz, blues and other music communities through a new broadcasting service on WBEW and WBEQ that will rely on contributions from the community at large.

Thanks to a recent upgrade in WBEW’s signal strength, this new service will be heard throughout Chicago.

What this new programming will sound like is still being discussed internally, and CPR hopes to hear from leaders in Chicago’s music community as well about this venture. “Because we didn’t say ‘We’re going to drop this in 2007 and here’s what’s going to replace it,’” Ash says, “it created a vacuum for those who were very loyal. We have no intention of creating a station where people talk about music.”

Ash also talked about the station’s plans for the new service, why CPR abandoned its plans for music-formatted programming, and what role musicians and artists will play in this new venture.

*Chicagoist: So is Chicago Public Radio really going all talk? * *Daniel Ash:* To clarify, the way [WBEZ] 91.5 sounds during the day is going to be the way it sounds 24/7. The original plan is to build a 24/7 service for WBEW [and WBEQ]. The new service is not a talk format, although it may include some traditional talk elements, just as it will most definitely include music. Our aim is to develop a service that is highly localized and a reflection of the Chicago area, which would include music.

We plan to build this service with the community in mind. The folks who are the local artists, the local musicians, who were quite frustrated with our old music programming, will work in a much more intimate way, with the station, in developing content.

*C: What’s going to be their contribution? *

*ASH:* [Chicago Public Radio CEO] Torey [Malatia] wants to create a public radio station that has a different sensibility than the daytime

91.5 [frequency] has. It’s music-rich, sound-rich, and not just people talking about music like a symposium about jazz, but it’s part of a discussion about life in the community. The segments could be a jazz group or a folk group that includes that art form but reflects the region. We’re hesitant to talk too much about this because it’s still in development. We’re developing it with both people internally and folks in the community, so [artists] will actually have more opportunity to have their content [on the air]. We don’t want something that sounds like NPR, we want it to sound like Chicago.

*C: As of last month, there were still plans to create music programming <http://suntimes.com/output/feder/cst-fin-feder161.html> on WBEW and WBEC. What changed? *

*ASH:* We thought if we want to do what we want to do, we have to create a new style of radio, which sounds ambitious, even arrogant. But the thing is, no single format is going to work if we want to reach beyond our current audience. But we can’t make all of our decisions based on our members. In many respects, we’d be a commercial station if that were the case. We have to program for the region.

*C: Are you worried about losing subscribers as a result of these changes?*

*ASH:* We’re going to lose some. But we hope to get them back when this new service is up and running. And I’m very confident that we will. The jazz musician that was very passionately disappointed in what he read, once he sees that he can be more involved in the public radio station, I think he’ll come around. We have no intention of creating a station where people talk about music. That’s exactly the opposite of the direction we want to go.

*C: Why not make this new format part of WBEZ’s nighttime programming and use those other two stations as a music-formatted compliment? *

*ASH:* We thought about it. It becomes a business decision: how do you afford that type of programming and try to do something new at the same time. To do something new, you have to invest time and resources in the new project. Most of our music team is working on this new ide*Ash:* They actually see it as a new opportunity.

*C: Did you discuss these changes with your program hosts, especially the stuff that’s produced locally? I’m thinking of Dick Buckley, specifically, here. *

*ASH:* Although Howard [Reich] was able to reach [buckley] late last week, he’s had surgery recently and he’s not in the office ever so his producer had a hard time reaching him. But every other on-air host and producer was fully informed about where we were going with this.

/[When Chicagoist contacted Ash for more detail on this question, he said the following: “Chris Heim is no longer with the station; she was the host of Passport and our music director. Passport is now hosted by Tony Sarabia. Niles Frantz and Dick Buckley will be reassigned, if they so choose. We think both, given their deep knowledge of blues and jazz respectively, have much to offer the new service in development.]/

*C: In an interview in 2003

<http://www.airmedia.org/spotlight/transcripts/090903.php>, Torey Malatia said it’s difficult to measure the public radio audience. How do you determine what it is that your audience wants to hear? *

*ASH:* Because we’re non-commercial, we don’t get the kind of ratings information that [commercial stations] get. We’re planning on having a series of public meetings and a lot of web activity where people can directly talk to us—and each other—about this new service.

*C: When you want to create community social programs, it’s important to go to the leaders in the community to talk about what’s needed. Are there people in Chicago that you’re reaching out to or that you’d like to hear from to develop this programming? *

*ASH:* We’ve developed a list of folks we want to consult. We want to talk to leaders and we want to talk to practitioners, people who are active in their community.

*C: Who have you been talking to? *

*ASH:* We just introduced the concept to staff. Their task is to take the concept and assess the strategy for engaging this external audience.

They haven’t reached out yet, but I can say unequivocally, many producers, when they heard about the concept, though they were sad about music, many of them were coming to me to start talking about it publicly. They’re moving aggressively on ideas because they see the possibilities. We have to speak to those leaders, those musicians, those artists, who are going to be key to the co-construction element that this service is going to demand. It just hasn’t gotten underway yet.

*C: What’s the biggest need that you want to fill for the Chicago blues and jazz community that isn’t currently there? *

*ASH:* I think the biggest need is more young people need to be introduced to the form in a way that isn’t a backdrop to another genre, like hearing a jazz sample in hip-hop. People may listen to it but not understand the context. This new service was one where, rather than have two hours of jazz, two hours of blues, two hours of world music, we’re going to integrate it so we have a better chance of attracting the attention of curious people. Younger audiences are more likely to move across genres than we’re likely to admit.

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From Chi-Improv.

This is the letter [Marguerite Horberg] sent to both the Sun-Times and Tribune and one I will send to Torey Malatia, station manager at WBEZ. I think that fans of this list should write letters to the newspapers and the radio station and use forums like the Jazz Institute's Jazz network to urge a sit down with Daniel Ash, Ronald Jones and others to help give them a vision for a kick ass new music station that includes the music championed on this list serve

---------------------------------------

Admittedly most of us in the professional jazz community were no fan of the former music director Chris Heim’s regime at WBEZ. In her tenure she managed to ceremoniously rid the station of most of its lively jazz stable (Tesser, Ruffin, Parra ), only reluctantly kept local treasure Dick Buckley on air, banished the local collective AACM and other noisy upstarts (notably Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane) from the airwaves citing “that people were trying to sleep” and further alienated music presenters, artists, and critics by a heavy handed exclusive policy that did little to promote the local jazz community. The “smooth/snooze” music she favored eventually drove most serious fans of jazz away from the station to other more creative enclaves like WDCB, WHPK and WNUR.

Unfortunately the station never seriously regarded the vigorous criticism of the jazz community and now erroneously concludes that the dwindling support for music at the station is a forgone conclusion rather than a result of antagonizing the base audience with bad music.

WBEZ loses a huge opportunity to recapture its jazz fans by further shedding its music programming in favor of a talk format, and in essence “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”.

Chicago is one of the planets most thriving centers for contemporary jazz, Artists as diverse as: Jon Faddis, Paul Wertico, Tortoise, Fred Anderson, Fareed Haque, and Patricia Barber, and Hamid Drake all make this city their home . Chicago-based record labels: Atavistic, Thrill Jockey, Okka Disc, Delmark, and Alligator, are known around the planet. Venues like HotHouse, The Green Mill, and The Jazz Showcase are among the top jazz presenters in the country and countless other indie promoters at smaller storefront venues have established Chicago as one of the most dynamic showcases for traditional and experimental jazz.

Other venerable institutions like DownBeat magazine ,the Jazz Record Mart, and the Jazz Institute of Chicago are also part of a thriving jazz community that is the envy of cities from New York to Tokyo.

We hope that WBEZ will finally listen to the chorus of critics this time around and use this opportunity to engage with its many diverse and knowledgeable constituents. We believe that there are indeed many resources available to the station that would strategize and partner with station management in order to revitalize and create music programming that honors the historic traditions and is as magnificent as the talent in Chicago’s legendary jazz community.

Marguerite Horberg

Executive Director

HotHouse

Marguerite Horberg

Executive Director

HotHouse, The Center for International Performance and Exhibition

31 east Balbo Drive

Chicago, Illinois 60605

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From Chi-improv. by Jason Guthartz

The local papers come to BEZ's defense:

The Sun-Times' Feder:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/feder/cst-fin-feder19.html

But the more Malatia looked to the future, the more convinced he

became that music alone wasn't the answer.

For the eight hours each day that WBEZ airs music, the station draws

less than half the listenership of its 16 hours of news and talk

daily. Overall, according to the Arbitron ratings, the station's

music audience is down 20 percent from last year.

But more significantly, the availability of jazz in other forms has

increased dramatically in recent years.

Multiple full-time jazz formats are available on XM and Sirius

Satellite Radio. Internet broadcasting abounds. Podcasts are

standing ready to be downloaded. Even locally, Clear Channel Radio

broadcasts a 24-hour digital signal of traditional jazz on the

second HD Radio frequency of "smooth jazz" WNUA-FM (95.5) -- all

announcer-free and commercial-free. And of course there's still jazz

on WDCB.

So what will air instead of the music on WBEW and WBEQ? That's the

truly exciting part of the story that unfortunately has been

overshadowed by the sincere and legitimate protests over the jazz

cut and the ouster of music director Chris Heim.

Steve Johnson's Trib blog:

http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/te...m_915_is_d.html

Can you believe that WBEZ-FM 91.5 is dumping jazz, world music and

blues? Neither can I.

I thought the city's public-radio station would never get around to

making this smart decision, a big improvement over its current

personality divide.

It's not that I hate jazz, blues or world music. A little of each

goes a long way for me, to be sure, but they are all fine, even

splendid, at certain times -- like during brunch and over tinny

speakers in college-town clothing stores.

But even melodic jazz (as opposed to the numbingly virtuosic kind; I

get it, dude, you can play your horn) is no match for a lineup of

first-rate public-affairs programs, and the latter is just what WBEZ

aims to put in place of the nighttime and overnight music it now plays.

***

As for jazz, even true believers have to admit it's already a niche

format, well served by the small stages of Internet and satellite

radio outlets and devotee record stores.

Let's not pretend the playing of prerecorded niche music continues

to be more deserving than freshly produced news of the huge

auditorium that is Chicago's lead public-radio station. Let's

especially not pretend this when there's a whole world out there to

try to comprehend.

[Jason Guthartz] posted this comment to that Trib-moron's blog:

Johnson: "As for jazz, even true believers have to admit it's

already a niche format, well served by the small stages of

Internet and satellite radio outlets and devotee record stores."

So what?

News reporting that is "intelligent," "scrupulously reported" and

"lavishly detailed" is also a niche format, well served by the

Internet, satellite radio, print periodicals, etc.

domerquid commented: "And why does quality talk deserve more of

an outlet than quality music? You make no argument other than

you think it does."

Exactly.

In fact, the argument can be made that it is *more* important for a

public radio station to focus on music, since the

information-content of "precorded niche music" is in the sound -

sound that cannot be translated to print - whereas news/opinion

reports lose little if anything when transcribed.

Jazz, like other forms of art, is valuable for its ability to shed

light on the "surfaces and structures of experiences different from

our own" (to paraphrase Raymond Durgnat). That it does so in ways

that can be surprising and challenging - and not always logocentric

- makes it all the more valuable, particularly in an environment

dominated by soul-deadening corporate propaganda.

-Jason

--

Jason Guthartz

jason@restructures.net

www.restructures.net

www.restructures.net/chicago

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WNUR and my old station, WZRD,

were where you went for cutting edge sound

beginning in the 80's! :tup

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And how powerful is their transmitter now? When I lived in Chicago (5000 N - about a mile from the border) I had to drive to Evanston to get the signal. I taped a show for them once and had to ride around in my car to get the friggin' signal.

nur.org rules...

So they turned off the transmitter and "stream" only? Thought we were talking about Chicago radio stations.

No, no, no. WNUR still transmits over the air at 89.3 FM at 7200 watts from the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston. You can get the signal on the northside of Chicago (I live at 3200 N and get a clear signal). The Jazz show airs weekdays from 5am to 12:30pm Central (wnur.org for those out of transmitting range).

And Chuck - if you're ever in Chicago, we'd love to have you into the station as a guest.

-Jason

NUR rules!

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For the eight hours each day that WBEZ airs music, the station draws

less than half the listenership of its 16 hours of news and talk

daily.

Um... didn't they broadcast jazz during the middle of the night?

Anyone know where Chris Heim is going? She was a HUGE supporter of organissimo.

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Anyone know where Chris Heim is going? She was a HUGE supporter of organissimo.

I wouldn't say that out loud. She might be the most disliked person in the Chicago jazz community.

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Really? She always seemed very nice. She has good taste, anyway! :)

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You can get the signal on the northside of Chicago (I live at 3200 N and get a clear signal). The Jazz show airs weekdays from 5am to 12:30pm Central (wnur.org for those out of transmitting range).

And Chuck - if you're ever in Chicago, we'd love to have you into the station as a guest.

-Jason

Back in the '70s and early '80s I lived on Kimball (between Bryn Mawr and Foster) and couldn't get NUR.

I should be in Chicago for a few days this summer to remaster some of my stuff. We might be able to hook up then.

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Really? She always seemed very nice. She has good taste, anyway! :)

Her fondness for Organissimo is probably the sole example of her good taste there is.

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Anyone know where Chris Heim is going? She was a HUGE supporter of organissimo.

I wouldn't say that out loud. She might be the most disliked person in the Chicago jazz community.

This is an interesting statement. Why is she disliked? And who is the community? The jazz intelligentsia? The club owners perhaps? The owner of one of the major jazz venues in Chicago made a funny comment to me about the so called "jazz community", and more specifically "..jazz geeks?", as he put it. "Who cares what the 'jazz geeks' say about this artist or that artist?"

The whole sociology of music is very interesting.

I care about what everyone says. The music afficianados and the lay people. I believe music can appeal to both. So what is the Heim crime? Not well versed in jazz? Not a community oriented person? Is it merely her personality that has caused her problems?

Does it matter? Should Jim play politics? Or take support gracefully and not worry about social posturing?

Not intending an argument at all. It is a funny business and subculture, that's all.

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For the eight hours each day that WBEZ airs music, the station draws

less than half the listenership of its 16 hours of news and talk

daily.

Um... didn't they broadcast jazz during the middle of the night?

Anyone know where Chris Heim is going? She was a HUGE supporter of organissimo.

Exaclty. People always say how jazz doesn't pull a large audience on most stations, but you've got to look at the daypart in question! I once had a longtime (public) radio veteran and current station manager of an NPR affiliate tell me that it really doesn't matter all that much what you air after 7:00pm. So why NOT run jazz?

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Anyone know where Chris Heim is going? She was a HUGE supporter of organissimo.

I wouldn't say that out loud. She might be the most disliked person in the Chicago jazz community.

This is an interesting statement. Why is she disliked? And who is the community? The jazz intelligentsia? The club owners perhaps? The owner of one of the major jazz venues in Chicago made a funny comment to me about the so called "jazz community", and more specifically "..jazz geeks?", as he put it. "Who cares what the 'jazz geeks' say about this artist or that artist?"

The whole sociology of music is very interesting.

I care about what everyone says. The music afficianados and the lay people. I believe music can appeal to both. So what is the Heim crime? Not well versed in jazz? Not a community oriented person? Is it merely her personality that has caused her problems?

Does it matter? Should Jim play politics? Or take support gracefully and not worry about social posturing?

Not intending an argument at all. It is a funny business and subculture, that's all.

amen, hey, that's us.

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Anyone know where Chris Heim is going? She was a HUGE supporter of organissimo.

I wouldn't say that out loud. She might be the most disliked person in the Chicago jazz community.

This is an interesting statement. Why is she disliked?

She is disliked because of the severe restrictions she placed on what DJs were allowed to play, insisting on a very narrow and skewed representation of "jazz" past and present; she caused several of their best DJs to leave the station (e.g., Neil Tesser).

She restricted the types of "jazz" heard on WBEZ to a mind-numbing stream of cocktail jazz - mid-tempo stuff with lots of vocals, guitar & piano.

One listener's account is representative:

"I got home late last night, around 3 am, and decided to call Larry Smith to request some Fred Anderson. He said he didn't think that would fit their format. He sounded really happy I asked though, said he'd known Fred for forty years, and asked if I'd ever been to his club. I told him I had, and asked why he couldn't play Fred's music. At that point he said he'd look, but doubted he'd be able to find anything "conservative enough to keep my program director off my back."

Impossible for a Chicago jazz program to ignore Fred Anderson and other AACM-associated musicians? Impossible for any jazz program ignore Charlie Parker? Chris Heim was there to prove the impossible.

read more in the messages posted in this discussion thread:

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/chi-improv/message/4726

here's a message I sent to the station at the time:

http://www.restructures.net/jcg2u/misc/wbez_jazz.htm

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My problem is...isn't NPR freakin' suppose to be for the goddamn people!!!! The airwaves are the exclusive property of the American people. However, we've given all of it away to corporate america to make money off of. What's left for us? Aren't we, no matter how small an audience, entitled to some Jazz? It's only America's music~!!!!

Demographics, dayparts, listenership (ie., who's gonna pony up the biggest bucks to hear our shit. Since that's the case we get more news and business reports cause guess who pays for that.)....

Anyway...fucked again.

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She is disliked because of the severe restrictions she placed on what DJs were allowed to play, insisting on a very narrow and skewed representation of "jazz" past and present; she caused several of their best DJs to leave the station (e.g., Neil Tesser).

She restricted the types of "jazz" heard on WBEZ to a mind-numbing stream of cocktail jazz - mid-tempo stuff with lots of vocals, guitar & piano.

That's a drag. All I know is she was very nice to us, played us a lot, and was very supportive.

I do share the common frustration of jazz stations keeping things so middle-of-the-road. The local jazz station here in Lansing just syndicates Bonnie Gryce's(sp?) show, which is extremely bland (and usually has some of the worst female vocalists I've ever heard... where do they find these people!? No wonder people think jazz is awful. That stuff is!!!) The only good show they have with jazz is a local DJ named Mike Stratton that spins actual vinyl and plays some wild stuff. But he's relegated to late Sunday nights.

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She is disliked because of the severe restrictions she placed on what DJs were allowed to play, insisting on a very narrow and skewed representation of "jazz" past and present; she caused several of their best DJs to leave the station (e.g., Neil Tesser).

She restricted the types of "jazz" heard on WBEZ to a mind-numbing stream of cocktail jazz - mid-tempo stuff with lots of vocals, guitar & piano.

One listener's account is representative:

"I got home late last night, around 3 am, and decided to call Larry Smith to request some Fred Anderson. He said he didn't think that would fit their format. He sounded really happy I asked though, said he'd known Fred for forty years, and asked if I'd ever been to his club. I told him I had, and asked why he couldn't play Fred's music. At that point he said he'd look, but doubted he'd be able to find anything "conservative enough to keep my program director off my back."

Impossible for a Chicago jazz program to ignore Fred Anderson and other AACM-associated musicians? Impossible for any jazz program ignore Charlie Parker? Chris Heim was there to prove the impossible.

read more in the messages posted in this discussion thread:

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/chi-improv/message/4726

here's a message I sent to the station at the time:

http://www.restructures.net/jcg2u/misc/wbez_jazz.htm

You can't play Fred Anderson at 3 in the morning? That's ridiculous!

I understand that stations want to appeal to jazz "likers" as well as jazz "lovers." What I can't understand is the utter disdain with which jazz "lovers" are now treated.

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...a mind-numbing stream of cocktail jazz - mid-tempo stuff with lots of vocals, guitar & piano.

From WBEZ's website:

Top Twenty Jazz Music Albums of 2005

(Artists listed in alphabetical order)

Monty Alexander -Live at the Iridium

Billy Bang - Vietnam: Reflections

Dee Dee Bridgewater - J'ai Deux Amours

Mark Colby - Speaking of Stan

Freddy Cole - This Love of Mine

Dan Cray -Save Us

John Ellis- One Foot in the Swamp

Richard Galliano -Ruby My Dear

John Goldman - In Walked Pierre

Babatunde Lea - Suite Unseen

Joe Locke - Rev-elation

Thomas Marriott - Individuation

Ted Nash - La Espade de la Noche

David “Fathead” Newman - I Remember Brother Ray

Organissimo - This is the Place

Eddie Palmieri - Listen Here

John Scofield - That’s What I Say

Ximo Tebar - Goes Blue

Tommaso-Rava Quartet - La Dolce Vita

Ken Walker Sextet - Terra Firma

 

 

Top Twenty Jazz Music Albums of 2004

(in alphabetical order)

Ben Allison -Buzz

Patricia Barber - Live: A Fortnight in France

Andy Bey - American Song

James Carter - Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge

Bill Charlap - Somewhere

Alice Coltrane - Translinear Light

Deep Blue Organ Trio - Deep Blue Bruise

Von Freeman - The Great Divide

Mike Frost Project - Nothing Smooth About It

Curtis Fuller - Up Jumped Spring

Conrad Herwig - Another Kind of Blue

Joe Lovano - I'm All For You

Harvey Mason - With All My Heart

Brad Mehldau - Anything Goes

Don Stiernberg - Angel Eyes

Clark Terry and CJO - Porgy and Bess

Jon Weber - Simple Complex

Rodney Whitaker - Winter Moon

Jessica Willliams - Live At Yoshi's Volume One

Matt Wilson - Wake Up!

...other mind numbing streams of Cocktail Jazz included the entire month of December 2005 that was devoted to Jimmy Smith...

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From WBEZ's website:

Top Twenty Jazz Music Albums of 2005

Are these the top 20 picks of the DJs, or the top 20 in terms of playtime on the air?

In any case, those lists make my point - an extremely narrow sampling of the wide range of aesthetic traditions which fall under the "jazz" umbrella.

Here's another list of theirs - presumably the current "top ten jazz albums heard on Chicago Public Radio":

1 Jessica Williams Live at Yoshis Vol. 2 MaxJazz

2 Mark Sherman One Step Closer CAP

3 Jeremy Kahn Most of a Nickel Kahnman

4 Carmen Lundy Jazz and the New Songbook Afrasia

5 Shahida Nurullah Cityscape HighNote

6 Tony Monaco East to West Chicken Coup

7 David Fathead Newman Rudy and the Pearl Alembic Arts

8 Cyrus Chestnut Genuine Chestnut Telarc

9 Carlos Barbosa-Lima Carioca Zoho

10 Ernie Andrews How About Me High Note

Beyond lists, I know what I've heard whenever I've tuned in - which admittedly has not been frequent: a frustratingly bland listening experience. With due respect to the above-named artists, there is a definite imbalance in favor of a conservative aesthetic. (Giving artist names and album titles does not mean much if they choose to play only those cuts with certain tempos, structures, timbral qualities, instrumentation, etc.)

No one was asking BEZ to play five hours of Last Exit or Takayanagi Masayuki & Abe Kaoru or The Thing every night. The criticism focused on their unwillingness to present a more accurate picture of the broad range of the jazz world's aesthetic traditions, within and beyond Chicago jazz, within and beyond American jazz (i.e., AACM records of the '60s shouldn't be considered "avant-garde" to anyone who's been paying attention for the past 40 years).

By contrast, check out some playlists of what's heard on WNUR, a much smaller college station with comparable quantity of weekly "jazz" programming:

http://www.wnur.org/jazzshow/reports/playl...ists_Index.html

No one has asked BEZ to mimic NUR, but the comparison clearly shows the types of artists and aesthetic traditions that have been systematically excluded from play over BEZ's airwaves. We asked BEZ to uphold it's mission as a *public* radio station, meaning to present what is actually going on in the community and in the world - to program with cultural enrichment and exploration in mind rather than commercial marketing. (I know, I know, considering public radio "non-commercial" is pretty much a joke at this point.)

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The first hit on a Google of "Lawrence Olds" :

Richmond.com / Music / Calendar of EventsJuly 21 - July 21 Lawrence Olds brings jazz vocals and smooth grooves to the Upper East Side Bar . 7 pm $5 . For information , call ( 804 ) 467 - 6182 . ...

richmond.com/music/calendar.aspx?StartDate=7/21/05 - 113k - Supplemental Result -

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