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On the Air

Back on the air!

Yes.  I'm back on the airwaves at what the industry now calls a "terrestrial" radio station, which means I have to travel to the facility and even sometimes get to play actual "records" or "LP's".

WDNA Miami is actually one of the few remaining "terrestrial" stations where I get to pick the music I want.  Imagine that!  Four hours of jazz of my own selection.  Paradise?  Not exactly.


Try it yourself one day and see just how complicated it is.  There is traditional or class jazz. There is progressive jazz.  There is contemporary jazz.  And finally there is jazz that has only the most tenuous relationship to what my friend, pianist and Berklee Professor Eric Gould defines as the "Jazz Aesthetic".  And please don't confuse any of these categories for what Jazz-heads derisively consider "smooth jazz"  If you crossed such a threshold you'd immediately be stripped of your pork-pie hat (google it) and lose of "cool" card forever.

And even then don't forget to consider what time of day you are programming for.  Drivers on their morning commute aren't likely to want to hear the same music that they listen to when they are "chillin' on their Barco loungers.  Maybe.  And that's the thing: who knows what an individual ever wants to listen to other than that particular individual.  Which is why technology that allows said individual to, in effect, create their own soundtrack has taken over the industry.  Or at least "almost" taken over the industry.

The technological takeover will never be total as individual listeners aren't likely likely to read as much as those devoted to the art form.  Industry magazines and websites produce a huge amount of data on who's doing what and how that matters and relates to the whole.  Terrestrial radio, particularly of the jazz variety, tends to bring that data to the airwaves in a way that educates and supports in ways that add value to the listening experience that the music alone can't do.

So, as the wheels of change keep churning we in the jazz field do our part to keep the field alive and vibrant.