Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Listen Here! - The Jazz Review

If you've read your fair share of jazz magazines or liner notes, the name Neil Tesser should be familiar to you. He was formerly the editor of Downbeat Magazine, and is one of the guys who actually knows what he's talking about in the small world of jazz journalism. He also co-hosts a weekly syndicated public radio show called "Listen Here! - The Jazz Review", with DJ and radio critic Mark Ruffin. KFSR, the station which I work for, just picked up the show a few weeks ago, and I've really be very impressed. While it's only three months since it launched, I'd have to say it's one of the more innovative radio programs to come this way in a while. Think of Ebert and Roeper, but on radio, and about jazz. Frankly, it's a little more entertaining than that show. They of course play various new cds, give their views on what's good or bad about them, (that alone makes it worth more than most print media jazz reviews, which never back up what they're talking about), plus they have artist interviews, a little debate segment (again, with audio clips), and a radio version of the venerable blindfold test, a la Downbeat. Neil and Mark have a great chemistry on the air, and bring a freshness to jazz radio, which often is lacking. They've been hosting their own daily local drive time program, Miles Ahead in Chicago for years, and this takes it nationwide. It's really a program you have to hear to appreciate, but it's on KFSR every Saturday from 3pm-5pm, as well as many other stations nationwide.


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