Curators of Jazz

smoothjazz(an article)
Smooth jazz expires in three more markets – “The Truth” dawns on Fresno – Smooth Jazz 105.5 fades to black.

Jeff Wilks sees revenue potential in talk that didn’t come his way with jazz. T-R-I told you last Wednesday that the “Truth” stunting on Wilks Broadcasting-owned KJZN was the real thing, and that the three-year-old jazz station would go talk on Friday. It all came to pass, and the lineup is something out of TRN exec Phil Boyce’s dream – he’s got players in almost every position.

Here’s the rundown – Mancow, 6-9am. Laura Ingraham, 9am-noon. Jerry Doyle, noon-3, Michael Savage, joining for 3-6pm (more about that in a second). Rusty Humphries, 6-9pm. Curtis Sliwa, 9pm-midnight – he’s the only non-TRN personality, from the station Boyce used to program, WABC. Then TRN’s Phil Hendrie, midnight-3am. And the new Washington Times show once it debuts in June, 3-6am.

The only situation that was a little hairy was Michael Savage, who’s been getting a delayed clearance from Peak’s KMJ-FM, 7-10pm. Now his syndicator TRN can clear him live on The Truth, when he’s contractually available in mid-June. One consultant predicted last year that smooth jazz would be the first format casualty of the Arbitron PPM, because of its reliance on Time Spent Listening. But in the past three days it’s lost three outposts in several non-PPM markets, starting with Fresno and then New Mexico and Ohio –

(dr. wu comments)

With apologies, i won’t be attending this “smooth jazz” funeral but allow me a moment to reflect and rant. i’ve always disliked the “smooth jazz” term. it’s not because of the artists or the music itself. moving into this arena has allowed many fine musicians to be heard by the masses and thus launch their careers by touring and selling cd’s. i have many in my collection.

i realise it is standard operating procedure for product marketers, but what bugs me is the insidious marketing tactic of using a legitimate term such as jazz to simply lure consumers. “smooth jazz” ain’t the real thing, baby. some, if not much of the material that makes up the “smooth jazz” sound would not get even get close to the doors of jazz haunts like the blue note or the vanguard. that doesn’t mean the artists don’t have the chops to enter those hallowed grounds. I respect them. they are legit and would cut it in those rooms. to make matters worse, “smooth jazz” radio stations often throw in some R&B (there’s that label thing again) tracks into the mix that make no sense even to their “smooth jazz” commitment. marvin gaye is “smooth jazz”?

jazz is a valuable treasure that requires musical curators. the players that have made the commitment to be curators of jazz do it for the love and conservation of the genre, and it is their funerals i would sadly attend.

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Jimi & the U.S. Army

hendrixarmyJames Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix is another artist whose dedication to his art—and resistance to authority—show up clearly in his military file.

Hendrix enlisted in the Army in May 1961, at the age of 18. Under the heading “Avocations and Sports,” his Enlisted Qualification Record states, “Plays Guitar (3 yrs).” Both creativity and nonconformity are revealed by other enlistment documents, such as a security questionnaire on which Hendrix takes a novel approach to filling in check boxes.

Hendrix’s interest in guitar seems to have taken precedence over any commitment to military service. “Pvt Hendrix plays a musical instrument during his off duty hours, or so he says,” declares one Sgt. Louis Hoekstra. “This is one of his faults, because his mind apparently cannot function while performing duties and thinking about his guitar.” A training record from July 1961 shows Hendrix at the bottom of the heap in marksmanship—ranked 36th out of a group of 36. While he may have been right on the mark with a guitar, with a rifle he was not even close.

In a request that Hendrix be subjected to physical and psychiatric examination, a Capt. Gilbert Batchman asserts, “Individual is unable to conform to military rules and regulations. Misses bed check; sleeps while supposed to be working; unsatisfactory duty performance. Requires excessive supervision at all times.” A May 1962 document recommending that Hendrix be discharged from service states tersely, “No known good characteristics.”

Within a few years, Hendrix would be hailed as one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time.

(thanks to dr.Wu for sending it in)

Welcome to Mizar6, the 2009 look

m6hr

Hi. Once again we stumbled upon a black hole in the universe, when webhost Lycos switched keys with the new provider Strato, leaving us somewhere in between. We’re still in orbit, we’re just invisible at the moment. It’ll probably take some time before we have figured out the new admin section and we hope to have the old Mizar6 and Mizar5 stuff back up soon enough as well.

m6l
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