Hey y’all! As the vast majority of you know, I’ve been the host of The Jazz Program on datafruits.fm for a good couple years now, and the host of a small show called Talkie Time on the timeslot before it. Since finally deleting my Twitter account, however, I’ve had a bit of an issue. Usually, I’d use Twitter to let listeners know what we’d be playing that week, as well as make some dumb jokes and encourage folks to tune in. Since I took the thing out back and shot it, however, I’ve decided to make a monthly post here to let you fine folks know which records we’re going to be playing each episode, as well as take a bit to talk about some of my favorite jazz and jazz-related artists and records.
If you’d like to tune in, head on over to datafruits.fm/chat on Tuesday evenings from 10 PM EST/7 PM PST to 1 AM EST/10 PM PST. If you’d like to learn more about the show and read about the fantastic artists and old-time radio shows we’re broadcasting this week…well, read on.
What Is A Jazz Program, And What Does It Do?
Obligatory Homestar Runner references aside, “Sarah Allen Reed And The Jazz Program” is exactly what it says on the tin–it’s an excuse for me (Sarah Allen Reed) to share my love of jazz with all of you fine folks for two hours every Tuesday night. I’ve had a love affair with jazz for the majority of my life, and unlike most of my long-term relationships this one has yet to end in a gigantic ball of flame.
Like most folks with raging, life-altering addictions, I started young. I was raised in various places outside of Saint Louis, MO (a town so attached to jazz that our hockey team is called the Saint Louis Blues) and when I was growing up, I had a choice between two radio stations I was allowed to listen to in the very Christian household I was raised in. One was Joy FM, an absolute garbage fire of a contemporary Christian radio station that eventually bought out and unceremoniously destroyed one of the only independent classical music stations in the contiguous United States. (I’m still mad about that, for the record.) The other was that exact classical music station, which (thanks to some fantastic individuals and an outpouring of community support) currently exists on the top of the dial in the form of Classic 107.3. Given the fact that contemporary Christian music is one of exactly two genres of “music” I consider to be unlistenable (the other being modern country, and both for roughly the same reasons)1. you can take a guess as to which of the two options I picked.
(Granted, if my very religious foster parents were so insistent upon keeping me on the straight and narrow, they prooobably shouldn’t have let me listen to that one either–“Broadway Spotlight” was also a weekly fixture on Classic 99, and given the fact that I ate that up every Saturday evening I’m honestly shocked that anyone was surprised when I finally came out of the closet.)
I bring this up for exactly one program–I Love Jazz by the late and incomparable Don Wolff. was aired every Friday night, and I tuned in religiously. If there is one reason why I fell in love with the power of radio, it is Classic 99, and Don is 95% of that for me. I didn’t have many highlights in my god-awful childhood, but hearing the sentence “I’m Don Wolff, and I love jazz!” and drowning myself in one of the most majestic forms of music known to man was one of the few. To this day, if there’s one form of sonic expression that I hold near and dear to my heart more than any, it’s jazz, and The Jazz Program is my tribute to it.
Want to know more about Talkie Time? Check this blog week when I write a bit about it, or just tune in! Until then, let me talk about what we’re playing this month and who we’re spotlighting:
February 2023 Jazz Program Schedule
January 31, 2023 - Houston Person
In A Sentimental Mood, The Nearness Of You, and My Romance
Is it Valentine’s Day yet? No, because if it was we’d be playing J. Dilla. (See below.) No, tonight we’re playing three classic albums from soul saxophonist Houston Person, all three of which are guaranteed to get you in a romantic state of mind.
We’ve got two selections from his time at High Note Records-1998’s My Romance and 2000’s In A Sentimental Mood, and we’re closing the evening out with a much funkier record from 1978, The Nearness Of You, released on Muse Records.
February 7: 2023 - Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli
If you’ve never been privy to the absolute magic that is Django Reinhardt, here’s a great place to start. Rome, 1949 is a three-disk set featuring violinist Stéphane Grappelli paired up with the master guitarist over the span of three disks.
Reinhardt’s time in Italy after returning from his time in the States in the late 1940s has a lot of fascinating details that paint a wonderful picture of the man himself–according to his biography by Charles Delaunay the guitar master would sometimes show up for scheduled concerts without a guitar or amplifier, or even refuse to show at all, skipping the shows to “walk to the beach” or “smell the dew”. While you can definitely hear that free spirit in these recordings, we thankfully did in fact get them at all, and they’ve been compiled here in this fantastic three-disk set from Label Ouest.
February 14, 2023 - Valentine’s Day Booty Bumpin’ Special! - J. Dilla
Donuts, Beats 2002 1&2, and Ruff Draft Beats
I can see some of you thinking J. Dilla is a weird choice for a Valentine’s Day Special. If you’re on that list, remind me to check on your boyfriend and/or girlfriend, as they’ve clearly never gotten to experience a decent ending to a Valentine’s Day date in their life. I feel like someone owes it to them to fix that, and if it ain’t gonna be you somebody’s gotta step up.
J. Dilla is the face of the Detroit sound of instrumental production as far as I’m concerned, and you can’t get better instrumentals to dance, romance, and take off your pants to. We’ll be playing Donuts, Beats 1&2, and Ruff Draft Beats in their entirety, and we’re gonna go long into the night. Light some candles, put down the good blanket, and pour some good liquor. We aren’t playing love songs this Valentine’s day. We’re playing lovemaking music, baby.
February 21, 2023 - Horii Katsumi Project
Hot Is Cool, Sky Cruisin’, and Ocean Drive
Is it getting warm yet? No? Well, fuck. We’ve all been waiting for warm beach weather for the past five months, and while it’s not gonna get here any sooner, we can at least play some classic Japanese jazz fusion while we wait for the landlord to fix the hot water heater. 2
We’ll be playing the quintessential 1987 release Hot Is Cool, as well as 1997’s Sky Cruisin’ and 1988’s Ocean Drive, the latter of which features immaculate cover art by master Japanese illustrator Eizin Suzuki. Look at that painting and tell me you don’t wish it was summer.
February 28, 2023 - CRIME JAZZ NIGHT!
Crime Jazz Season 2, Vols. 1-3
Those in the know, know about Crime Jazz–both the moniker denoting the weird hodge-podge of genres from lounge to exotica that acompanied the numerous neo-noir and police drama epics that haunted cinemas in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and the now-defunct series of compilation records hosted on Blogspot and lost due to the demise of Rapidshare. We’re talking about the latter in this case. Being a relentless archivist, I have been hunting for far, far too long for copies of this series, and at long last I have nearly the entire second “season” (as they called it) of releases in my posession. Until I run out, we’ll be playing these fantastic records in their entirety on the last Tuesday of every month. So far, I’ve only tracked down the second season–if you have the first, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me some download links and I will personally buy you a beer (or coffee).
That’s our schedule for this month. Thanks in advance for tuning in; hope you enjoy the show. I’ll be back soon with a bit of information about Talkie Time, as well as our schedule for the month of February.3 Thanks as always for reading; you’re amazing and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not. Talk soon.
- I have class, dammit. If I wanted to listen to thinly veiled propaganda, I’d just listen to the 1812 Overture like a functioning individual. Besides, at least Tchaikovsky knows how to put together a melody. [return]
- Seriously, if you’re reading this, please send maintenance in here and fix the thing. It’s been out for like two weeks now and I can only take so many cold showers before I turn into a raisin. [return]
- Oh, and we’re playing “Blackmail Is Murder” and “Death Is No Joke” from the 1947 series “Box 13” on January 31st. See you then! [return]