Jazz FM 91
It's the 10 year Anniversaryof Jazz Fm 91, the station actually started in 1949, CJRT radio, it was created by Ryerson University as an educational radio station to compliment the college's journalism program - reportedly one of the best in the country at this present date. The station went 24-hour jazz in 2001 and changed its moniker to Jazz Fm 91, and this is what we are celebrating - if you are in fact a jazz fan or at least a Jazz Fm91 fan.
I am a fan, I have supported Jazz.Fm over the last 10 years as a regular donor and I have attended shows they have organized. It's been a good relationship and I give thanks regularly that we have a local and powerful radio station that plays a good mix of jazz.
The stations most recent good jazz deed is their offer of 10 for 10 - 10 years of support from their fans and 10 free downloads of jazz tunes from Itunes as a thank you. I thought this was a nice gesture. Although I have no use for the songs they have picked, having access to a great number of songs. I have the complete album of every artist they picked. A better idea, for me anyway, would have been a 10 song pick from Itunes - anything my heart desired, maybe next time.
As a good will gesture in return, I decided to take the time to write my 10 favorite things about Jazz Fm91. And of course, no list is complete without your 10 least favorite things.
10 Best points:
1.) Ross Porters voice and his show on Saturdays he plays some of his favorites a great show.
2.) Jazz 24/7, well almost.
3.) John Pizzarelli's show - Sunday mornings, John and his wife Jessica have the best show, bar none, on the airwaves.
4.) Interviews with jazz artists who are visiting Toronto or set to play a concert.
5.) Bob Parlochas, late night show.
6.) Saturday's Latin jazzshow with Laura Fernandez and her predecessor Amanda Martinez.
7.) The stations sponsorship and direct involvement in jazz concerts. I've attended a few, the price is right and the artists are top notch.
8.) Sundays - commercial free.
9.) Jim Galloway's voice and his new show on Sundays. Great jazz picks.
10.) 10 for 10, 10 years of support equals 10 downloads from itunes. The motivation to write this article.
10 Worst points:
1.) Brad Barkers afternoon show - formerly Larry Green's drive anywhere show. Bring Larry back or failing that, find somebody with a more relaxed, laid back and humorous, rather than pompous manner.
2.) The morning show - bring back Tish Iceton - I loved waking up to Tishs' voice, the best female voice in radio.
3.) Dinner Jazz - why not give it back to Walter Venafro, he did a super job.
4.) Ted O'Reilly quitting or retiring in 2002, a loss to the station that I still haven't got over.
5.) Too much talking from most of the on air hosts.
6.) Not enough variations in jazz. The avant-garde voice of jazz is seldom heard, even in its relatively tame idiom. Where is Dolphy, Braxton, Parker, etc?
7.) New music that is not charted and not Canadian does not see any air play.
8.) Bill King's show - he played plenty of new artists, and mostly new releases. One of the best shows, a shame it had to be cut.
9.) Larry Green and his drive anywhere show - crashed and burned. Where's Larry?
10.) The big band show on Sundays - A show that has lasted too long.
This is of course just my point of view; I think the positives out weigh the negatives. Ross Porter came on board in 2004 as the President and CEO, overall I would give him a 4 star rating out of a possible 5 stars. The station that started out in 1949 as an educational radio station - CJRT and transitioned into a jazz powerhouse - renaming the station in 2001 to Jazz Fm 91 and announcing a 24-hour jazz operation is by far the biggest positive. Through strong leadership, the station has remained a vibrant and thriving not-for-profit broadcaster and supporter of Toronto's jazz scene. If you haven't heard JazzFm91 check it out - anywhere in the world - at jazz.fm on your internet connection.