ctd.. We have a series of free Sunday evening concerts on the beach in the summer. They draw a lot of people who are just already on the beach or walking past and stop to check out the music, get hooked and end up staying and buying CDs when people like Mindi, Spyro Gyra, or Paul Taylor play..the artists who really "bring it" At the time when we had a very EZ oriented SJ station I can only imagine how these people felt when they had just been to a concert that totally rocked, they searched for the station that had the banners up, and heard a series of EZ instrumental versions of 40 year old songs.
This is so true. The problem is CORPORATE RADIO.
In the late 1980s when I first discovered MODERN JAZZ (notice I did not call it "smooth"), it was on an A/C station at the time, WQXI-FM, then known as 94-Q, had a program at night called Jazz Flavors. You would hear EVERYTHING from Chick Correa, Al Jarreau, Paul Hardcastle, mixed in with new age like Andreas Vollenweider, then a track from Jean-Luc Ponty, Weather Report, Dave Grusin or some of his brother Don Grusin's uptempo stuff, then Steely Dan's "Time out of Mind"- it was never boring or sleepy- enough to catch this then 8th grader's attention and had me hooked.
When I saw Al Jarreau open Lakewood in Atlanta in 1989, I was the youngest guy there. Andreas Vollenweider came to town that year, I had to go. It was a packed house at the Fox Theater- and it was E L E C T R I C. My Dad went with me, and he was blown away.
In the 90's the "Smooth Jazz" stations came online in ATL, first WJZF 104.1, and I thought "cool! my music's back!" but it wasn't, it was watered down. I RARELY heard any JLP, Weather Report or Andreas Vollenweider- just the same 200 song playlist of Toni Braxton with a few "easy" tracks mixed in. Sounded no different than the soft A/C station down the dial.
No one wants to do ANYTHING outside the corporate cookie cutter moldy molds anymore- not just in jazz radio but rock, alternative or R&B.
Why does radio just seem to be on a suicide mission? One would think at a time when we have so much choice the industry would STEP UP and bring back a great OUT THERE sound like Russ Davis did on WQXI-FM.
I am dreaming, it isn't 1987 anymore.