Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Side project

So for a few months I've had a side project that I haven't even mentioned here, but I'm almost done with. This post will be a review of the whole bloody thing.

I got all kinds a' tapes
When I was at WRIU I would frequently tape my shows. As a result I have literally hundreds of hours of these shows. In 2001 I created a show called Last Century in Jazz, the idea being to present a chronological review of the first one hundred years of Jazz. I organized the show by decade, spending a few weeks exploring each before moving to the next. One of the great things about these tapes for me is I used a lot of music from the 'RIU library, so there's a ton on music that I don't have otherwise.

Goodbye Sunny :(
Late last summer, my car died. I was able to borrow a car that only had a tape deck, so I decided to listen to Last Century in Jazz since it represented the chronological approach that I find so interesting. I found it fascinating to listen to the arc and growth of the music over the years. The one thing that seems to expand the most is the over-all variety. Earlier Jazz does have variety, but one needs to listen at a very fine level to hear the differences between artists or sub-styles. Casual listening will only reveal a general rikky-tikky-tik sound. Similarly, as the music drifts towards noisier, free jazz styles, the same subtlety of listening is required to hear more than just skwonk-skweedly-squeal.

To pat myself on the back, I played lots of good shit on that show. That's been the main treat in listening to these tapes. In a world where time is not an issue I would love to back-up and catalogue these shows, if for no other reason than creating a cd/record wish-list. (author goes in search of Marzette Watts...) There have been so many times that I've been blown away by a particular piece of music and then thought "Oh yeah, so-and-so" when I heard the announcement saying who it was.

"Apparently there's some chaos going on out there in the world, so you want to watch out for that.."
My show was on Tuesday mornings, 9-11am. This meant that I was on the air the morning of the Sept. 11th attacks. I had no idea what was happening and went about my show in the usual fashion, i.e. getting stoned at 8:30am on my way in and making inappropriate wisecracks on air "What would a guy with a name like Steve Swallow want for someone to hold against him?" Even after I had some idea of what was happening I still made cracks like the one in bold. This is the show that I listened to most recently and it was extremely hard to listen to. That's pretty much all I can say about that. There are only two more shows before the infamous "Mutha-Fucka" incident, and then this side project is over.

OK, that's all for now. Two blogs in one day after four months of silence should be enough.

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