[JPL] Aging Programmers

Larry Appelbaum jumpmonk at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 11 20:38:20 EDT 2012


It's gets a bit solipsistic if we just go on the air and play our favorite records. But are we trying to communicate only with our friends and people like ourselves? I'm guessing that many of us try to present an offering that tells a story and reaches a number of constituencies, hopefully without compromising integrity. It helps us keep up with what's happening and it keeps the door open to new listeners. As Monk said: "everything's happening all the time." I have some colleagues who play basically the same things every week and it works for them. If it's done well, there's no problem with it. Everyone doesn't have to follow the same rules in the world of creative programming. We all presumably finds our own way and balance. I've done paint-by-numbers formatted shows and they're usually flavorless. 

Keep it up, youngster!

> Yep, someone asked me the other night how old I was...then before I answered they said "you're in your 30's right?" I said 20 something years ago. He laughed and seemed surprised. I asked why he thought I would be in my 30's. He said "because of the jazz you play." I thanked him and got back to my show but it stuck with me. This is something I've been very cognizant of with my programming...not having my show sounding necessarily from the generation I grew up in. It's easy to do with programming because our most influential "learning" years are what shaped our perceptions and it can be difficult to transcend these feelings that we've come to embrace so profoundly during that time. Now we're older and we're just like a lot of others in our generation...we don't want to let go of those good ole days....or things that remind us of them.
>  We as jazz programmers are an aging group. If we don't think that influences what we play I think we would be kidding ourselves. What do you think? Swinging is what most of us are familiar with but ironically much of jazz today has shifted away from this concept. There's more straight eighth note playing today in jazz than I've ever heard. In many ways the music has separated itself from many of the programmers I believe...in terms of what we like and not necessarily what we choose to play. I play things I don't care for but how many others do? It's become IMO, an interesting challenge for jazz radio. I don't think I'm the only one that feels this but it's certainly not talked about openly. I still do the occasional voice check but I also to a music check. Really analyze my playlists to see if there are trends and such. Simply to make sure I'm representing the music as objectively as I can. I certainly can't if I'm not. 
> Jae Sinnett      
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