09 February, 2012

Fab find: WKCR and Phil Schaap

Like Jazz? Me too. And I'm lucky to live within broadcast range of WBGO, Jazz 88 out of Newark. They're great (really) but the station that has me most excited about Jazz is one that only has limited Jazz offerings, but boy are they good! Columbia University's WKCR comes in alright in the kitchen but now that I've found their online stream (MP3 or RA) I can listen anywhere. Which means I don't have to chain myself to the stove to hear Phil Schaap.

Schaap hosts a few of WKCR's Jazz shows and I'm partial to Bird Flight where he waxes on (and on) about Charlie Parker between a chronology of tracks. I understand how some folks might want more music and less talk but what a gift to get to listen to the pieces within their context. It's like sitting in on lectures from a top Jazz historian, for free!

Phil also gets props for his tireless efforts to get Roy Eldridge recognized as a key and overlooked hero of Black History. In honor of Eldridge this Black History Month, you'll get to hear lots of him on Schaap's shows like Traditions in Swing (Saturdays from 6-9 pm). I was lucky enough to catch Eldridge's birthday celebration on 30 January and learned a lot about him during the 24 hours dedicated to his music. He started playing when bands were still segregated so recordings like this gem Schaap played (and I found on YouTube!) caused quite a stir in their day.

Cracking stuff that highlights another nice thing about WKCR, the birthday programming. Head's up, there's a trio of crowd pleasers coming in April: Holiday, Mingus and Ellington!

Lastly, I love Schaap's funny (Baltimoran?) pronunciation of words like on. Reminds me of my girl Beth, whose voice I miss. Check him out, let me know what you think.

PS. WBGO streams online too: http://www.wbgo.org/internal/mediaplayer/?type=stream

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I'll have to check that out. I'm so thankfully for streaming radio. ESP when we lived in CT. It was WERS, WGBO, and GBH/BUR all the time and nary a classic rock block from local radio.