Back to Mondays

Over the last twenty or so years I have had shows on all five weekdays, but
the overwhelming majority of my shows have been on Fridays. There hasn’t been
any real master plan behind it, it has just fit in well with my life and the
difficulties of scheduling fifteen weekly jazz slots… This quarter Mondays
turn out to be the best fit, so I have switched days for a while; looking back
it seems that the last time I did Mondays was in the fall of 2002 (can it
really be that long ago?). I hope that the change isn’t too much of a wrench
for those of you who are used to listening on Friday mornings!

James P. Johnson’s Last Rent Party

James Price JohnsonI’m glad to say that I haven’t neglected James P. Johnson on my show, over the years I’ve done my very small part in keeping his music and his memory alive. His music is his real memorial — he really was one of the giants who helped form and develop jazz — but there are are other, more physical memorials that show that we remember those who came before, and it turns out that James P. Johnson lies in an unmarked grave in Queens. Scott Brown discovered the location of the grave last February, and last week Smalls in New York held a benefit to raise money for a headstone. Billed as “James P. Johnson’s Last Rent Party” it ended with 5 hours of solo piano by 12 pianists — you can read
Ben Ratliff’s New York Times review of the concert online: Raising Roof and Headstone for Pioneering Pianist. There is also a NYT blog piece by Corey Kilgannon about Johnson’s and other early jazz greats’ modest graves Giants of Jazz Rest Modestly in

Normality Restored

I have received a couple of calls from people who were concerned that I was off the air for a while. Nothing sinister wass going on — I was just out of the country for a month; I’m back now, and things should be back to normal (at any rate as normal as they get at NUR).

Alain to the Rescue

The supplies of new music to the jazz drawer at NUR have dried up lately — things are beginning to get a little stale musically. Whoever undertook to be jazz music director for the summer seems to have dropped the ball; apparently there are piles of CDs awaiting someone to process them so that the rest of us can play them and you can listen to something new… Luckily Alain has come to the rescue and has started to do what’s necessary, so the drought should be ending soon. Thanks Alain!