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August 10, 2008

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New Orleans Ladder

Hey Congrats, Noble Jazz'Mon!
As well to Canada for showing such taste and bump to sump wit'da finer things, guardians of da'groove, a congroovience we have come to know and love in The City That Care Forgot--But NOT Canada. We will never forget it either.
We have a Lot of Canada'rillas on da'Ladda.
Right there wit'chu, JazzWax.

Thanks again,
Editilla~New Orleans Ladder

Don Brown

Marc,
I'm sorry to see JazzWax collaborating with JAZZ FM91. The station is considered a bad joke among Canadian jazz aficionados. A film reviewer whose name I've forgotten once wrote that an actor had "run the gamut of emotions from A to B". Well, JAZZ FM91 runs the gamut of jazz styles from A to B - with no selection longer than six or seven minutes. Originally, JAZZ FM91 was CJRT-FM, a station that programmed jazz, blues, classical music,and folk music. The jazz program - The Jazz Scene - broadcast a total of twenty-four hours a week and covered the full spectrum of jazz from King Oliver to Albert Ayler, unlike the situation on JAZZ FM91 where everything is safe, short and sanitized. Ted O'Reilly, the host of the Jazz Scene, played all styles of jazz, even ones he personally did not care for. He also supplied personnels, recording dates and other pertinent information about the selections he programmed. Now, it's just musical wallpaper. With the people at JAZZ FM91, jazz has been turned into a "lifestyle". Also, the station is totally self-serving. The only interest of the people who run it seems to be self-promotion. For the 33 years O'Reilly hosted The Jazz Scene he made sure his listeners were informed of all the live jazz being played in the station's listening area. Now, a club only gets mentioned if they pay for it. JAZZ FM's last concern is the listener.

Don Brown

There's an error in the email I sent you this morning. I said Ted O'Reilly hosted the Jazz Scene for 33 years. Actually it was 37. I also neglected to mention that Ted was well-known for his lengthy, in-depth (usually hour-long) interviews with both visiting and local musicians on Saturday mornings. I don't know if the current management plans to ever re-broadcast any of these interviews but what treasures they are. Ted's guests included Harry "Sweets" Edison, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Barney Kessel, Ruby Braff, Clark Terry,Chet Baker, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz,Lee Konitz and countless others. And there were no commercials, traffic reports or weather reports back in those days to interrupt the flow of these free-wheeling conversations.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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