[JPL] response to shout out and to Jae Sinnett's comments on independent producers, music research, planning shows, etc.

Bob Rogers taintradio at gmail.com
Tue Sep 23 02:36:44 EDT 2008

I've been out of town for a few days and away from computers, hence the long
(and perhaps convoluted) subject line.

First, thanks to Bill Barton for the nice shout out.  I know that Oliver
Lake needs to send you a copy of his new cd and I hope he does.  And I wish
to hell that Frank Lowe was still around to do the same.  About those
irritating >>> marks, I think it's because I posted the playlist from my
Blackberry, not my usual practice.  Sorry about that.  Nevermore.

As an independent producer I have been thinking about Jae's post of Walrus
Research's observations about independent producers, particularly their
characteristic disdain of music research, probably because I have been
disdainful of it for more than 40 years.  I have that same attitude about
clocks, matrices, music scheduling software, "ideal" track lengths,
vocal-to-instrumental ratios, etc.  I'm not too sold on "formats" either.

Few things in life are more pleasurable to me than presenting music that I
really care about.  But my idea of show prep is to get in a really good
frame of mind and find that first cut.  After that, I cannot possibly know
what's next until I get there. The essential thing is that it be a conscious
and very personal choice. I've always thought music, and especially jazz, a
dubious place to practice "consistency."  As anyone on this listserv will
understand, this has been highly problematical in my radio career.  For
example, to avoid dealing with playlists I had  to become either the person
in charge or the weirdo who does overnights.  I did both and preferred the

With the advent of Internet streaming, independent producers can viably
choose to be independent of radio itself.  Anyone who really wants to, can
present music pretty much any way they want to, regardless of what radio
programmers or their most trusted researchers conclude.  As an independent
producer, you don't have to attract the largest possible audience. It's okay
to just play the same music you play for your own pleasure, have fun and not
give a rat's ass about anyone's theories regarding what people are ready

Each year more music is chasing fewer programming hours on public radio.
It's liberating to realize that even if public radio becomes all talk all
the time, there is a way to continue presenting jazz and other music without
regard for what radio does or does not do.  It seems likely that many people
on the JPL share at least some of my thoughts about how they prefer to
present music and some of them will eventually migrate to Internet-only
venues where they will do it the way they want to.  I think that's pretty

Someone (Larry Appelbaum, I think) cautioned at an IAJE panel in January
that it is a mistake to conflate radio's problems with the survival of
jazz.  Now the IAJE is gone but the music keeps flowing like water, always
finding a path.  Radio remains very valuable to jazz and I hope it does for
many years to come.  But we are the JPL, not the JRPL.

People are not going to quit making great music.  Regardless of how we
present it, the music will be there for us.  It's just about the best thing
human beings do.

Best regards,

Bob Rogers

From: "Bill Barton" <seekandlisten at gmail.com>

> To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
> Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 01:31:26 -0700
> Subject: [JPL] Shout Out to Bob Rogers in taint town... and an aside
> Hi Bob,
> Those are some mighty hip playlists that you've been posting here.  I
> listened to quite  bit of your show for the first time this early a.m.
> Ellery Eskelin!  Yes!
> And anbody who plays that much Oliver Lake, some Frank Lowe, Little Huey
> and
> (gasp!) Louis Sclavis is okay with me.  Keep on keepin' on as they used to
> say.
> And an aside re: the list.  What's up with all those endless <<<< and
> multiply repeated posts?  Is it something to do with the software? Just
> curious...  It's rather annoying.
> Bright Moments,
> Bill B.
> To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
> Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 11:25:32 -0700 (PDT)
> Subject: Re: [JPL] Programming guidelines/Question
> Gene...it's interesting to me how similar it is programming my show and
> programming for a concert. This position is from actually being in the chair
> or being on stage. I know that some will think programming for a live
> concert is different than radio programming...yes and no. I program my show
> into the computer earlier in the day. Once in the chair I find myself making
> several changes as the night goes on based on feel. The same on
> stage...several times I will have a playlist for the group and I will change
> a song here and there because the "feel" dictates it. How do I put that into
> words? Not sure but it's a gut feeling and I think programming should be
> that way. Follow that gut instinct.
> This is why the so called radio research is puzzling for me because to me
> radio programming is an in the moment art form...or should be. The moment
> could feel like you should play something but the research tells us we
> shouldn't. That's crazy. The ability to be able to do this comes with
> experience and time in the chair. I would bet many of the programmers on
> this list know what I'm talking about but at times find themselves drawn to
> the research models. It's a line we walk between the debate of what is good
> radio and what is the best musical presentation. Again for me...I tend to go
> with my gut and it's worked.
> At times here on the list programming procedure seems to be based on
> criteria that seems to place the musical importance in a secondary role. The
> music is always first and foremost in my view. It's an art to learning how a
> piece of music affects the listener. You can also alter the way a listener
> is affected by what will follow. Sometimes a simple verbal explanation will
> work but it can be done through mood variation.
> My question is how many actually program their show ahead of time and
> either leave it the way it was programmed or make changes as the show is
> happening? Most now I guess are playing through the computer and the logs
> can be set up in advance...at least here we do on our OMT system. I put my
> show right in front of me in the log. It's interesting really and I would
> love to know the views of programmers in this area.
> Jae Sinnett

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