Early Mornin’ Jazzin: Daybreak Express

Hi folks, how’re things? I discussed briefly how much time on air I have this week in my last message to you. Monday night from 1-5am I played some avant garde sounds: Carl Stone, John Cage and Chainsaw Jazz. It was a good time. I started the night with a little Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd Jazz Samba to transition from the show prior to mine, Latin Jazz Hour. A lovely friend of mine spent the first few hours hanging with me, and we joyously danced (?) to Carl Stone (can you dance to Carl Stone?). After they left I got super super scared by John Cage and a litany of voices. I then got super tired. Chainsaw Jazz was a good energetic end to the night.

This morning has proved itself more enjoyable. I went to bed early and arose at 4:30am with an abundance of energy. I started listeners off with The Enchantment, an album featuring Chick Corea and Bela Fleck. It’s a truly fantastic record with interesting elements of bluegrass thanks to Fleck’s banjo and always held down by Corea’s virtuosic and uniquely energetic piano playing. My favorite track on that one is “Brazil.” (attached below).

Next, the sweet sweet soulful sounds of Ray Charles graced the airwaves. I played his album The Genius Hits the Road a wonderful little collection of classics. There’s really nothing like some Ray Charles for your heart, mind, and soul. We were still in the 5am hour, but I was dancing to “Basin Street Blues,” “New York’s My Home,” and “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” Thank you Ray.

To get some contrast after the crackly deep tones of Ray’s voice, I put on Snarky Puppy’s album We Like It Here, a soon to be classic. They may just be the best modern jazz band from Brooklyn now, but some day Phil Schaap will be playing them. Seriously. Listening to the drums on “Lingus” now, I am literally laughing thinking about how good they are. My confidence in my choice was boosted when right after announcing the Snarky Puppy record a listener called in just to tell me what fantastic programming I’m doing this fine morning. Nice. And then another listener called deeper into the album to complement my programming as well! All these nice folks in the world. Jazz is social justice, and it has been for many many years. I hope it will bring America together in the future like it did in the past. And not through the unfair exploitation of “black gold” as Jesse Williams so eloquently put it at the BET Awards last year. His speech is extremely worth listening to; he quotes Billie Holiday.

I’m writing this while listening to the truly climactic end to We Like It Here, “Lingus.” It’s some crazy crazy shit. We’ll listen to some Joe Pass solo guitar next to cool down. All any of us really want is someone to play guitar for us like Joe Pass does (or to play guitar like Joe Pass). A whole lot of love goes into each pluck of his guitar strings. I actually don’t think I can name any guitarist who has a warmer color than Joe Pass does. His guitar sounds like a rosy luminous red but at the same time is extremely soulful and can be so damn bluuuuues-y.

Don’t forget to tune in Saturday night / Sunday morning 1-6am EST to hear me spin some more jazz on Jazz Till Dawn: 89.9FM NY and wkcr.org.

 

WKCR FM New York

Good evening. In the past I’ve mentioned that I program for WKCR FM New York, Columbia’s very own student run radio station. It’s a fantastic institution built on strong values and a desire to put “the alternative” out on the airwaves. I program for jazz, new music and maybe latin soon. This week I am actually on air for a ridiculous amount of shows.

If you desire to hear me program some sweet ambient and avant garde sounds, tune in Monday night / Tuesday morning from 1-5am EST for Transfigured night, a new music show. I’ll probably be spinning some free jazz and definitely some quiet static-y weird sounds. Maybe some Terry Riley too just to pay tribute to my hometown (I’m from San Francisco).

Maybe you’re more of a jazz cat. That’s ok, I often am one myself. If you desire to just fall back on a bed of sweet 2-5-1  chord progressions and smooooth sax tune in Wednesday morning from 5-8am EST. There’s truly no telling what kind of fabulous things are coming your way, but the forecast tells us there’s a strong chance of some Stan Getz.

There’s more! Lena! That’s crazy! I know. Tune in Saturday night (2/11) / Sunday morning from 1-6am EST to hear me on this week’s Jazz Till Dawn. Watch the sunrise with me and listen to some cool jazz.

TUNE IN: on the dial at 89.9FM New York and online.

I hope all of you get more sleep this week than I’m about to.

Spread love and jazzzzzzzz.

Concert Review: Marc Ribot and Ceramic Dog at The Stone

So I’m interning for WKCR (89.9FM New York or online at wkcr.com) Columbia’s PREMIER radio station and also the first FM station (kinda). It’s wonderful. Good people and great music and a legitimate commitment to noncommercial and alternative broadcasting. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying learning  and listening.

I’m interning for jazz and new music. The jazz department is really top notch but also maybe a little pretentious. The new music department is very kind and weird and wonderful. During one new music listening session a senior department member put on Ceramic Dog’s album Party Intellectuals, and it was so cool. I’d enjoyed Ribot’s guitar playing many a time before (mostly with Ribot y Los Cubanos), but I’d never heard it quite like that. Ches Smith’s wild drumming and the wonderfully emo and weird vocals brought it all home for me.

Sunday I went with some new music department people to see Ceramic Dog at The Stone, John Zorn’s space devoted wholly to experimental music. The Stone is a magical place that was enthusiastically introduced to me by KCR folks the minute I announced my intention to pursue new music. It was as cool as promised.

The show was wild. I was thoroughly engrossed by Ribot’s ingenious playing and Ches Smith’s absurd energy. The vocals they did were also pretty cool. Some creepy whispered vocals done by Ribot were notable. Ches Smith though was conceivably my favorite part of the show. His drumming was unlike most drumming I’d seen / heard before just for its sheer constant energy. Also that fucking bass . . .