Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The life and times of Dave Brubeck on this week's edition of RadioLand. Wednesday at 6pm, Saturday at 9am 89.9 fm

Curtain music
RadioLand theme- Cadillac
Take five (with narration)
Fugue on bop themes
Blue moon and tea for two
A foggy day
Take the A train
Jeepers creepers
Blue rondo a la Turk
Take five
The real ambassadors
Kathy's waltz
Don't get around much anymore
There's a great big beautiful tomorrow

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thoughts on Dave Brubeck . . .

We lost one of the legends this week. That word, "legend," gets tossed around a lot nowadays, but in the case of Dave Brubeck, it is not only appropriate, it may be an understatement. Dave was the first jazz artist featured on the cover of Time magazine and for a period of time, he represented the world of jazz to the general public. He fought against discrimination and helped promote African American artists. He was a goodwill ambassador to the world and performed for millions around the planet. He enlightened and entertained for decades and will live on alongside the greats in music history.

But all of this, while important, is not the signature accomplishment of Dave Brubeck's life. He was a good man. Good in every way. A wonderful husband and loving father. A caring would and a man of devout faith. He possessed a genuine quality that shown through to everyone who ever met him. I consider myself on of the fortunate ones because I had the pleasure of crossing paths with Dave on a very special night in Manhattan in 1993.

I was a fan and had always hoped to see Dave Brubeck play, but the vast majority of his modern performance time was at large outdoor festivals. Grand in scale, not optimal for the intimacy of jazz. Dave had been quite ill during the previous year and had a renewed interest in performance in smaller venues. In the fall of 1993, I read that Dave would be making his first club appearance in decades at the Blue Note in New York. I simply could not pass up this opportunity, so i drove to Washington, then took the train to NYC and spent the day at Radio City Music Hall and then went to Rockefeller center's NBC studios to see the 17th episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien being recorded.

That night I spent two sets, almost 3 hours total, sitting 2 feet away from Dave as he played with his Quartet. He played a piano with such power and force that they had to have a professional piano tuner come in and retune the piano between sets. After his first set, I went upstairs to see if I might get a minute with him and he was the most gracious man, spending about a half hour with me talking about jazz, his career and his performance. I've been fortunate to meet a number of great performers over the years who have been wonderful, but I must say Dave was one of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever had the pleasure to meet.

After spending hours at the club, I had to leave when they closed at 2am and, since I didn't have enough money left for a hotel room, I stayed up all night in the city - an experience in itself - ending up at Penn Station for a 6am train back to DC and then a 4 hour car trip home. Insane but one of the single most amazing days of my life.

Thank you Dave and Godspeed!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holiday tunes . . .

As I shop around this Holiday season, one of my favorite elements is the ever present sound of holiday music. I wish that the diversity of styles could be heard everywhere throughout the year much like the celebration season. In one 10 minute spend you could hear Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, Blake Shelton and Madonna. Where else, other than RadioLand, would you find such an eclectic mix?

I also love that instrumentals thrive at the holidays. Wouldn't it be great to have a few more of these on regular radio throughout the year? Maybe tunes like Popcorn or Classical Gas popping up a little more often?

The music really helps make me feel the season and I hope that the holiday music we're presenting on RadioLand really helps enhance your celebration!

More about "Merry Christmas 007" . . .

2012 is the 50th anniversary of James Bond on the Silver Screen. Rarely does Bond address Holidays, but in both the book and movie adaptation of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Christmas and New Years Day play a major role in the story. It's interesting because up to that point in the film series, Bond had not spent any time in the cold or snow and he certainly does in OHMSS!

When trying to create a show with the holiday Bond theme, I had a couple elements from the movie soundtrack including a remix of the title with appropriate jingling bells, but not much more. I think we found some cool space age bachelor pad music and a little mad Russian music from Manheim Steamroller to round things out.


Holiday specials abound on RadioLand starting this week! Up today - Merry Christmas 007! - super secret agent holiday fun. Saturday at 9am 89.9fm