Well here we are, itâ€™s just a few days from the start of spring---or should I say spring training, after all, in Boston, opening day at Fenway Park is the official start of springâ€¦isnâ€™t it? Itâ€™s hard to even utter that word SPRING right now. We just moved the clocks ahead on the very evening the thermometer topped out at 21 degrees! Fred, Luba and I had a drink to celebrate the arrival of the extra hour of sunlight and nearly froze to death walking around the North End from the restaurant to the car.
Iâ€™d like to say itâ€™s hard to complain about this winter, but unfortunately itâ€™s not, itâ€™s easy. And this time of the year when weâ€™re ready to put the winter to bed, but it refuses to go kindly, itâ€™s hard to keep those â€˜complaintsâ€™ at bay.
So, perhaps you see the theme. I want to get SIRIUS for a minute. No, I didnâ€™t spell that incorrectly. Jazz radio in Boston has long been something to complain about. Losing so many great jazz stations over the years has been a conversation Iâ€™ve had so many times, Iâ€™ve lost count. Sure there is still Eric in the Evening on WGBH 89.7 FM (thank goodness for Eric), there of course is Harvardâ€™s station WHRB 95.3 and WMJX 106.7 has a great Sunday Jazz Brunch. My friend Jeff Turton has a great jazz program on Sundays on WFNX 101.7. And if you are out west, you can listen to long time Scullers partner WICN 90.5 out in Worcester, although I am sorry to say I cannot get them most of the time where I live.
I have been listening online more and more, and after years of thinking about it I subscribed to Sirius Satellite radio, just to check it out. In fact back in November when we had Paul Taylor performing, I couldnâ€™t believe how many people attending the show heard him talk about his East Coast tour on a XM Satellite program.
As the business of jazz continues to change, Iâ€™d like to know--how do you keep up with jazz artists and CD releases that are out there? Do you listen to terrestrial or satellite radio? Which stations? Where do you listen to it, in your car, online, at home? Keeping jazz alive means we all have to work with the game pieces we have in front of us. As Scullers approaches its 20th anniversary, we know it is essential to make use of all of them.
I know how lucky we are to share a wealth of dialogue with you are partners in this thing called jazz, who have always been very generous to share experiences, comments, and suggestions with us. So now I ask you when you have a minute, shoot me an email at Dayla.email@example.com. The topicâ€”jazz radio, after that, Iâ€™m all ears. No complaintsâ€¦I promise.
Until next timeâ€¦.Iâ€™ll catch you at the show.
Dayla Arabella Santurri
Scullers General Manager
Nice blog post on the website. As a fan of contemporary jazz going back the last 15 years or so, it has been amazing to me how the broadcast means for this music has evolved. I became a fan back in the early '90s, listening to smooth jazz on 96.9 'TKK and on 99.1 WPLM in Plymouth, obviously before they switched to their current formats. Nowadays, my jazz comes to me in the following methods: internet streaming (smoothjazz.com is a particular favorite), Digital Choice Music on Comcast cable (channel 529 is smooth jazz), and the terrestrial radio programming on Sundays. Regarding this last, full disclosure: Jeff's program on 'FNX is a bit too sanguine for my tastes, and Magic 106.7's jazz programming tends to be too predictable or too close to their regular playlists. When I can get the signal, 99.9 WQRC in Barnstable (Hyannis) has their Sunday Jazz Brunch from 9AM-1PM, and Wayne White gets it right-a terrific mix of new and old smooth/contemporary jazz and rarely repeats songs week to week.
My tax refund will be partially spent on an HD radio, and my next car will have a subscription radio in it. There are plenty of places to get this music. I just need the vehicles to get there!
Keep up the good work at Scullers...see you this summer!
It's interesting you should touch on the lack of jazz stations around here in the latest e-mail/blog, as a related subject has been on my mind of late. I've long found it rather ironic that jazz stations are lacking around here, yet we have one of the best jazz clubs in America with Scullers and the Regattabar is pretty good as well.
You're probably aware that in the last month, both New York and Washington, DC have had great jazz stations change formats, much to my dismay as someone who travels to both spots several times a year. The cynic in me really came out with these changes - two stations in major cities with a lot of jazz going for it. New York has Blue Note, Birdland, Village Vanguard, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Iridium, just for starters. DC has Blues Alley, Twins Jazz Lounge, Birchmere, and is home to the wonderful Capital Jazz Fest, which I'll soon be attending for the ninth straight year.
Seeing CD101.9 and Smooth Jazz 105.9 change formats seems like a striking blow. When I add these to the long list of jazz clubs that have struggled financially and had to either close down or go through other hardships (I'm aware that Jazz Showcase in Chicago has "relocated"
multiple times and the last one lasted over a year), the cynic in me really starts to think capitalism is trying its hardest to put jazz on the back-burner. We already know it's hardly mainstream. The closing of stores like Tower Records doesn't help - that store always had a nice selection of music there, far better than most of the stores that carry music now like Best Buy or Newbury Comics. About the only consolation with it was that I cleaned up during their liquidation sales - I bought a lot of great CDs well below actual retail price, including a great multi-CD compilation Impulse put out a few years back and several John Coltrane CDs.
I primarily listen to CDs and mainly in my car, as I haven't even had the chance to set up my system in my new home yet. I've largely balked at satellite radio, although I have enjoyed Watercolors on a few flights. Occasionally I'll stream an out of town station over the Internet, and since I travel often I get to listen to out of town stations on the radio. My main tool for keeping up with artists and CDs, ironically, turns out to be my subscriptions to Jazziz and Smooth Jazz News, especially the former since each issue comes with a CD.
Going to the Capital Jazz Fest has helped since they usually feature some up-and-comers there as well as established names. In short, there's not really just one thing I utilize.
Very interesting to read what you had to say regarding the lack of jazz radio in Boston. The only way I can learn new music is on my computer through iTunes radio. Wmjx on Sunday plays some o.k. stuff but they also play alot of whiney stuff that I wouldn't classify as jazz or anything else for that matter. I'll probably break down and get satelite radio someday but it's just one more thing to add to all the other electronic devices.
I was really looking forward to the new restaurant when I make my yearly visit to see Tower of Power but I see they are not on the schedule. I'm so sad, this would have been my 6th or 7th visit. Why aren't they coming?? How about Average White Band, they were loads of fun too. Please bring them back if you can, those 2 shows were the highlight of the year for me.
In the meantime I'll keep checking the schedule and reading whatever you write on you monthly newsletter.
Hi Dayla: You asked on your blog to hear where your readers are going to listen to great jazz on the airwaves. I have a favorite that I stream over the Internet. It's commercial free KJAZZ, a fabulous station in Long Beach, CA with nonstop jazz played by informed DJs. Here is the link to get their stream: http://www.jazzandblues.org/.
I'm really looking forward to dinner and the Nnenna Freelon show tonight. We are heading to the Green Room at 6:00 with another couple. I do consulting work for Nnenna's husband, noted architect Phil Freelon. Can't wait to experience the new restaurant!
Scullers Jazz Club at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel Boston 400 Soldiers Field Road Boston, MA 02134
For tickets and information: 617.562.4111 Email: Info@ScullersJazz.com Ticket purchases are non-refundable.