[JPL] Aging Programmers

jctrane at gmail.com jctrane at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 11:28:46 EDT 2012


Hey Jae...as is your custom, you raise another 'food for thought' topic,
one that lurks below the radar for most folks, most of the time. Basically,
it's an exercise in self-reflection, and not of the narcissistic type that
is so common today.
   i think it is a great compliment that your listener misjudged your age.
The unstated implication here is that being misjudged as being 'younger'
than the play list would predict is what's desirable/cool. I would maintain
that 'positive misjudgment ' can work in the other direction as well. To
cite an overworked expression, it is "big ears", coupled with some
knowledge and taste, that, IMO, really matters.
   [Now,  I wanna be clear here: I think there is  nothing inherently
'wrong' in playing music centered on a specific time/style. I'm sure that
somewhere out there is a programmer that does a "Dixieland Jazz" show, or a
"SwingEra" show. Fine. (Although i am unaware of anyone on JPL that would
fall into this category). I think most of us, however, are trying to
present a sound that is not era- or sub-genre specific.]
     That being the case, what basic ideals does the programmer hold to in
putting together his 'product'?  I have known people who have said quite
openly that they program the music that they themselves like to hear. One
such person did not care for Latin-infused jazz; Another eschewed vocalists
altogether. Other folk, who grew up musically  in the 'Golden Age' of
Jazz...you know, the 1950s through the Fusion years...program a high
percentage of music from those times.
    On the other end of the spectrum, there are programmers that are
'teachers' at heart...programmers that feel an obligation to present an
amalgam of styles/periods that 'educate' their listeners to the scope of
this wonderful music.
     I think that both of these orientations are unnecessarily limiting to
the conscientious person in front of the mic. The first orientation (above)
is one that ignores the listener-base in large part. The second orientation
runs the risk of turning his/her show into a form of academic "jazz
appreciation seminar". (Like the 'paint-by-numbers' programming mentioned
by Larry earlier in this thread).
     So what's the dedicated programmer to do? I say, using one's
cultivated taste, and acknowledging one's own personal musical biases, one
should maybe fall back on a number of cliches. e.g., "There are only two
kinds of music, the good and the bad"; "We should all strive to
continuously exercise the notion of 'big ears'; And, for ourselves and our
listeners, we should cultivate "the sound of surprise" in the music we
present. Methinks that any programmer one that can do these things
effectively would be hard to pigeon-hole chronologically.
   That's my over-blown 2 cents     Gene Abkarian

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 9:57 PM, Mark E Hayes <mark.e.hayes at gmail.com>wrote:

>
> Michael - We have always been cool!  I know you totally get the show!
>  What, did I just give away your age, young man? Um -- go Heat! :)
>
> Mark
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jun 11, 2012, at 11:36 PM, Michael Valentine <mjazzer at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> >
> > Mark i thought we were cool lol
> >
> >
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