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After my return to the scene 2001 I was greatly honored when asked to be a guest on Chuck Niles' show to talk about my first record that I did with Ron Eschete (NO PLACE TO HIDE) Ron and I were going to appear at the then happening Jazz bakery--Chuck was apologetic because he Had other plans made at a earlier time---talk about a nice cat!Later some time in 2003 Chuck came to a club where Terry Gibbs and I were appearing to announce us/bring us on. It was a privilege knowing Chuck.
Thanks for reviving this topic, Mort. It's obviously important to us jazz fans in So Cal. Having lived in LA for over 20 years ive seen a major evolution in jazz radio here...and its been regressive. You, quite rightly, honor the memory of Chuck Niles, a true jazz soldier. I had the privilege of getting to know him a bit because Id always see him at jazz gigs around the city.In the last few years, many changes at KJAZZ would have him twisting in his grave. Since the change in ownership at the station, we tragically lost Chuck Niles and Sam Fields, another great supporter of the music who played great shit, to the Grim Reaper...These losses were unavoidable. But as the article points out, several veteran DJs were fired, mostly to hire young inexperienced people who one could tell, couldn't recognize the difference between Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins! LeRoy Downs could always be counted on to play Dolphy(hysterical, and not in a funny way, that they could justify his firing because he didnt play Dolphy on his birthday) Hes probably the only DJ who regularly played Dolphy! Since this article was written things have only gotten worse there...Much Worse! I believe that most if not all of the DJs must now follow a "playlist" created by a music programmer...DJs now play from these lists, read promos and do little else that they once did, like share their knowledge and experiences with jazz. One morning, not too long ago, I flipped on the radio in my car only to hear the dispiriting words, "HI, Im David Benoit"...quickly I changed stations. then I heard that the great jazz artist, Kenny G(and i can only wish i meant Kenny Garrett) took over a Sun night slot that previously had been Marian McPartland's wonderful show...ugh...Its a dreadful situation and it cannot be smoothed over by saying LA still has more jazz radio than most places...Its an unmitigated disaster!
And before i forget, one of the most heinous acts committed by KJAZZ is the way, in the interests of more promos and who knows what else, the DJs are still forced to repeat the now pathetic mantra about the station's policy of identifying the artists who make the music...I have to interject that "back in the day" it was common practice to identify all the cats on a recording session. Perhaps only Bob Parlocha and LeRoy Downs, who happily has been rehired on a limited basis, actually identify the sidemen! OK, Im done!
Old article, but of course it has gotten even worse. The wavelengths at the far left end of the FM dial were reserved for "non-commercial" broadcasts by an ACT of CONGRESS. To play the same warmed-over schlock available everywhere is a moral and cultural crime. Whatever happened to college stations playing from a wide play list of the purest and gonest sounds, in an effort to entertain AND edumacate? I was spoiled by the DJs of my youth - Ed Beach, Van Jay, Phil Shaap; people who REALLY knew the music. Those were the days when it was obligatory to have a cassette set on pause for the inevitably rare material, or long, long sets of related material that were worth listening to time and again. Now it is Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald over-and-over again, (great artists, but let's keep thing in perspective, the "art" part of jazz is instrumentalism, not vocals - except Betty Carter).These stations' airwaves are owned by the American people, and they deserve to be exposed to their native art form. To pander to the demographic, those cheese ball traffic reports...sickens me. There are plenty of answers to these dilemmas; no need to go into them in this forum, but believe me, Chuck Koton and I could run a station for the ages for a quarter of the current budget at KJAZZ.I did not want to get into personalities, but Jose Riso has such a great show, and has done so much for the music in general, a tip of the sombrero is called for. Ole, Jose.I'm done.
Absoultly YEAH GUYS! Im now living on a small ranch deep in the heart of Texas-just me- my wife and the cows--hadda get out of L.A. more bull s**t there than on my little ranch. re, kkjz if I remember right they had a fat lady there--seems like shes getting ready to sing! I guess i just shut down any chance of them playing my new album 'I'LL be seeing you" a november release. With Roy McCurdy-Chris Conner-and special guest (my man) Ramon banda on congas re. kkjz f**k em---My S**ts to hip for their room! As the cat used to say----Straight Ahead Chuck & Edward. Mort
Yeah, looks like i was right. My new one "I'll be seeing you" is being played every where and jumped on to the Jazz Week Chart immediatly after its release--Not one spin on KKJZ and all the cats on the date where L.A homeys-go figure. Mort
Is there a source for re-broadcasts or recordings of his shows? I would love to have them playing as though they were live. There is nothing else available like his work...to me.If anyone knows of a way to do this, please write to me, personally, at Celeste.firstname.lastname@example.orgI would be thrilled to learn, if there is a way.A thousand thanks,Celeste
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