Good Vibes November 2019

Putting a radio show together turns out not to be so simple. There’s the tempo of each tune to consider, like the fast paced “Yardbird Suite” (Gibbs) and “Alice’s Journey,” (Gillece) and the slow pace of “Stargazer” (Fisher) and “Dusk,” (Rossy). Mid-tempo tunes like “My One and Only,” (Redd) and “Frankie and Johnny” (Wolf) help weave everything together. There should be variety among the composers. Jazz icons like Ellington and Charlie Parker share a spotlight with the newer kids in the flock, (Mancini). Classic tunes want to blend with contemporary and the timing has to come down literally to the second. In a two-hour no-commercial program, it’s easiest to divide by four and put each quarter together. There are 26 minutes of music per quarter, usually five songs. Depending on their length, however, there could be six or four. Allow three and a half minutes for announcements, including station ID at certain intervals. That adds up to the required 59 minutes per hour. In a show like mine that features a specific instrument, I have to consider over a hundred vibraphone players and how often I play their music. Some are more prolific, others who record less have less to play so the distribution of airtime may seem lopsided. Something else to keep in mind are the combos themselves. Have I played a big band (Dany Doriz), a solo record, a quartet, duo, vocal (Tierney Sutton) and are they equally distributed, not solo against solo? Have I included some Latin jazz (Santamaria)? Lastly, there is personal taste. What I choose to play must be melodic. If you can’t tap your feet, the music’s too offbeat.

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