[JPL] Time To Re-Think How We Do Radio
djohnso2001 at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 18 22:59:11 EST 2009
I think I get what Jae's driving at, and I've had similar thoughts, though not as well-developed or as well-articulated as Jae's are. "Teach" may sound like a loaded word (one that those of us in public radio, as many of us are, are conditioned to dread these days), but there is a block with many folk and jazz. Yeah, you can't program with an "eat-your-vegetables!" attitude and hope to survive...but I do think there are different ways of arriving at the goals of which Jae's speaking. Anybody here remember "The Schickele Mix"? It was a classical music program that also drew on jazz and other forms from time to time; I listened only occasionally, but I think he did a decent job of making learning about classical music kind of fun. And the more you know, the more your enjoyment of the music is enhanced. Pat Harbison, a trumpeter and professor of music in the jazz-studies program here at IU, does a great presentation each year during the
Continuing Studies seminars for older folk that takes off on the old "Where's the melody?" line and runs a standard tune through all kinds of jazz formulations, explaining in a very accessible, down-to-earth way what's going on with the music.
Sometimes, too, jazz might suffer a bit from its own sense of hip. There's a sort of "in the know" aura about the music that makes it attractive to some, but might be off-putting to many others. It doesn't have to be dumbed down or made un-hip, but I agree with Jae that it's not a disservice to listeners--to potential listeners, especially--to debate and seek out new ways of making it more accessible to them.
David Brent Johnson
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