Give me a couple of hours free time (oh yes. Please do), give me a nice cup of coffee and a bit of cake. Then ask me to rummage through my CD collection and amuse myself and I’m in heaven.
I’ll go off on flights of fancy. I’d probably start by playing something new(ish) – say Jan Garbarek’s latest - “Dresden”. That might get me into a sort of ECM’ish/Nordic groove. Norway? Scandinavia? Its all the same to me …Next thing you know I’ll be rooting through the old ACT part of my collection for a bit EST or a little track or two by Nils Landgren – maybe one of his covers of an ABBA song! That’ll get me to thinking about how jazz musicians can take any old “pop” tune and make it better – so that might lead to Steve Swallow’s album of Elton John cover versions (I kid you not) or Brad Mehldau doing a bit Lennon and McCartney or Colin Town’s covering Frank Zappa.
And so it would go on and on. With one remote and spurious link leading to another then another – for hours and hours I could just go on and on.
Until, that is, somebody asks me to do that very thing. And then it appears I just dry up.
A local radio station is being set up for a 4 week trial period. If it’s a success they can then get a license and broadcast full time. Anyway, the chap who is doing the jazz and blues show heard through a mutual acquaintance that I’m a bit of a jazz nut. So he got in touch.
Could I help? Yes. I said I’d be happy to – though not behind the mic!(being as I am a shy and retiring type). I said I’d gather some tunes together and help him out with his “playlists”. His “bag” is firmly rooted in the Big Band era with a liking for vocalists – where as I’m more a “jazz-didn’t-really-get-up-and-going-till-the-late-40’s-early-50’s” and onwards sort of a guy.
If the show was themed (i.e. Scottish jazz, film jazz, cover versions etc etc.) it might be a bit easier. But it isn’t. And I don’t really know who the listener is and I’m having to try and pick music for an “imagined other”. So far, I’m veering too far towards the “safe”. If I try too hard to please everyone and offend no one then I’m in danger of inspiring no one.
Anyway, I’ve used some of my time over the weekend to get some stuff together – so we’ll see what happens.
Probably just be best though to broadcast directly from my living room….. flask of coffee … big pile of cakes