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Phil Schaap R.I.P.


ghost of miles
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It is with a heavy heart that WKCR mourns Phil Schaap, who passed away yesterday evening at the age of 70. For over 50 years, Phil has been an irreplaceable presence at the station. The mentorship that he has provided students as an educator has helped shape a new generation of jazz historians and appreciators, and his impact will be felt for decades to come.

Phil was unquestionably a giant in the jazz community. This past year he was recognized as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment of the Arts, and throughout his distinguished career has been awarded six Grammys and numerous other honors. 

WKCR will continue airing rebroadcasts of Phil's programs during their usual times.  Further details for an expanded tribute will be announced in the coming days on our website, wkcr.org

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Sad news though I suspected that his cancer battle wasn't going well because he had been so quiet on Facebook. It's been a while since he mentioned his troubles but the last update I recall, he stated more or less that the last treatment didn't get him into remission.

He was a great help to my Percy France website so I'll always be grateful for that. 

And like when Chris Albertson died, there is surely a ton of material that was in his possession that should not be allowed to end up in a dumpster.  I had contact with his assistant, Mr. Iselin, regarding Percy. I feel like I need to follow up with him, after a bit, about what happens to it. He said that Phil wasn't very well organized and it sounded like there was a stack of reel-to-reels recorded from the West End broadcasts (apparently liberated from WKCR), including at least one Percy France show.

All of it must be saved.

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In addition to whatever KCR recordings are in his house/apartment, I was told of a possible donation of Schaap interview tapes to some institution. No idea if there was progress there, and for that matter, will his assistant continue to digitize shows for Phil's website?  The site needs (or at least the College of Jazz Knowledge part) to stay up and available.

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Of course we're assuming that all of these reels are still playable which is probably a big assumption. On the Percy France Memorial broadcast, Phil tried to play a recording from the West End that was only six years old at the time, and he bailed after one tune due to the squeakiness of the tape heads. We're talking now about thirty years later.

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3 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Of course we're assuming that all of these reels are still playable which is probably a big assumption. On the Percy France Memorial broadcast, Phil tried to play a recording from the West End that was only six years old at the time, and he bailed after one tune due to the squeakiness of the tape heads. We're talking now about thirty years later.

Sometimes, they have to bake those tapes to play them back. You can't just assume that pulling it out and hitting play will work for every tape.

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42 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

I've had good contact with both the assistant and Sid Gribbetz the long-term jazz host. I think we can prevent a great loss of jazz history. Can't say the same for Chris A.'s stuff.

He had a Herbie Nichols acetate, maybe even two. I was going to ask him about it but he got sick...

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