[JPL] Jazz on Philly radio......and other places

Larry Thomas lrt0393 at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 10 19:45:20 EDT 2006


I sat in a hot car, postponing my trip into the market in search of a nice, 
cool reasonably priced watermelon to cool my day and heard with keen 
interest the wonderful revealing NPR News and Notes  piece on the premature 
death of jazz, or where is this 100-year-plus-old fine art form, going to be 
in five years?  My first reaction was the one Art Blakey gave me in a  
backstage interview at Page Auditorium on Duke University's campus several 
years ago--"Where are the black people? Why were they not on the impressive 
informed panel?  Maybe they had better things to do? Or maybe they couldn't 
find any, other than Tony Cox, the able moderator, who really showed how he 
loves the music when he mentioned he plays it at home and his teen-aged son 
didn't dig it.  Well, during the 1960s, when I was a teenager (b. 1950),  my 
dad played Jimmy Lunceford, Dakota Staton, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Mr. 
B, Sarah Vaughan and we hated it.  Eventually, it kicked in when I learned 
to appreciate fine art.  That's why we who love American  classical music  
have to keep on doing what we do and not be sided track by this kind of idle 
talk.  The fact is everybody is not going to like jazz, and nor will  they 
in today's times.  Music is a historical reflection of what is going on in a 
sociiety.  When jazz was popular we were much more sophisticated, classy and 
Today's music reflects a  wide open, anything goes, jumbled up, jet-paced  
society that on a whole is  moving in the opposite direction.  History 
suggests that once a civilization reaches a certain point of decadence then 
it can only rise up.  I mean how low can you go?  Finally, my second 
reaction to the NPR piece was a quote I squeezed out of long tall Dexter 
Gordon when I interviewed him backstage during a break at a concert where he 
almost blew the roof out of the concert hall--"Darling," he explained, in a 
dry, matter-a-factly tone, "Bebop is the music of the future."  At first, I 
didn't know what he meant, but now I understand what "Big Red" meant---the 
future ain't got here yet.

Be cool,

Larry Reni Thomas
Sunday Night Jazz Host
Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC

>From: "Jackson, Bobby" <Bobby.Jackson at ideastream.org>
>Reply-To: Jazz Programmers Mailing List <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
>To: "Jazz Programmers Mailing List" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
>Subject: RE: [JPL] Jazz on Philly radio......and other places
>Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 17:25:09 -0400
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>Have you heard this conversation today on News and Notes with Ed
>Gordon????  What are your thoughts?
>Bobby Jackson
>WCPN-FM/Cleveland, OH
>Roundtable: The Future of Jazz Radio
>News & Notes with Ed Gordon, August 10, 2006 * Some experts say the jazz
>radio format is in crisis. Some of the few stations devoted to jazz may
>soon change format. Guests: Suzan Jenkins, president of Jazz Alliance
>International, an industry group; Tom Thomas, president of the public
>radio research firm Station Resource Group; and Don Heckman, jazz critic
>for the Los Angeles Times.
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