[JPL] About those KSJS playlists

Bradley M. Stone bstone at science.sjsu.edu
Sat Sep 9 00:45:44 EDT 2006

Your show of playing nothing but currents was very similar to my present on-air shift at KSJS (you and I have often compared playlists, but I thought that I would share this on the JPL), my "Gnujazz" program on Mondays, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., on which I play all new releases.  I know that there are programmers out there that would consider this the "kiss of death", but not only do I regularly get calls from listeners wanting to know what I am playing (for which I am delighted),  I firmly believe that we have an audience in San Jose that expects this from us - dating back to our "Creative Source" jazz-rock fusion era of programming back in the mid to late eighties.  Besides, airtime is valuable, and if I am given the choice between playing a new, relatively unknown artist that deserves to be heard vs.a well recognized jazz great from the library.... well, its the new artist every time.  I have great fun each week playing all the new stuff that I have put into rotation, bringing all this great music and giving it some exposure to our audience - and building sets around all new material .... and while you are continuously challenged to keep the mixes interesting, as you say, there is no problem with being creative.  In general, I do recognize the importance and value of playling some classics as part of a mix to hold one's audience, but my show is specifically billed and promoted as being a show of new releases.
Best wishes for success with your new show!
Cheers, and Aloha! 
Brad Stone
San Jose


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Sent: Fri 9/8/2006 12:06 PM
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Subject: [JPL] About those KSJS playlists


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Hi Brad -

Have been reading with interest your exchange with Bob R -- while I 
agree with Bob's idealism this is wishful thinking in today's radio 
world.  As we discussed earlier this week on the phone there are 
pressures on many stations, particularly JazzWeek NPR affiliates, to 
make sure that the music that attracts memberships / contributions 
from the moneyed mature listener (your doctor, lawyer, accountant, 
etc. who is fixated on, e.g., Oscar, Ella and Sarah or Diana, Wynton 
and Harry Connick).  That said it is possible to play currents.  When 
I did my shift at KUVO there was a similar set of parameters (i.e. a 
minimum number of currents had to be played from a very diverse and 
extensive -- i.e. dozens -- of new CDs Arturo put into rotation) and 
the DJs also had freedom to select a lot of music (other guidelines 
were a "classic" at the top of each hour, no more than 2 or perhaps 
it was 3 vocals an hour and never 2 in a row, etc.).  That said I 
purposely played NOTHING but currents (including tracks from new 
reissues like House That Trane Built or Miles Prestige Sessions, etc. 
as my top of the hour classic) on my final 3 shows and it was a GAS!  
We're talking about 3 hours or some 20+ tracks of new music and had 
no trouble being creative and spontaneous.

So I think the common denominator between you and Bob is having a DJ 
with good ears and a good sense of segues (both conceptual and 
musical content) behind the mike as opposed to people whose concept 
of a radio show -- as I've posted here before -- is their personal 
version of "My Favorite Things" which are usually only what THEY want 
to hear and usually linked to THEIR personal idea of what is "good" 
music but in the long run very self-indulgent and BORING from at 
least this listener's standpoint.  I never did learn what my audience 
was doing Friday Night Jazz at KUVO and never got a ton of 
contributions but I must add that those listeners that DID contact me 
thanked me from playing yet another version of the safe and tried and 
true and familiar mainstream jazz sounds heard there Tue-Thursday 
from 7-9 PM (the Monday night DJ's theme was "Jazz and More" with the 
"more" off the beaten path music.  KUVO does deserve credit for 
creating a progressive program called "Jazz Odyssey" Monday-Thursday 
from 10 pm - midnight although not sure whether the goal of featuring 
edgier currents and putting edgier currents into a rotation that is 
really followed has been achieved.

Would be curious to hear Arturo's report on whether new CDs not in 
mainstream rotation are being received, programmed and actually 
played.  I know Gnappy's CD was put in KUVO's JO stax as a current 
but if it got a total of 2 spins according to MediaGuide.

[JPL] About those KSJS playlists

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