WBGO Blog
  • Jazz Tech: Tune In, Turn On

    July 15, 2008. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Tech

    Wire basket antenna

    Radio is a finnicky thing - while it may seem simple (turn it on and it just works!), radio waves are subject to many complex rules of physics. Any of you that may be trying to pick up WBGO in the basement of a steel or concrete building, or in the shadow of a tall building or in the valley of large hill, likely already know this. While we don't ask or expect that you go and build (as pictured above) a wire-mesh backet antenna, there are a couple things you can do to increase your chances of getting a great sounding signal through your radio.

    To that effect, we're starting a series called Jazz Tech. We'll explore all things tech and how it can enrich your jazz-listening life. The first thing we'll cover is antennas - a relatively easy and inexpensive way to upgrade your radio. All the nitty-gritty details after the jump.

    Read more

  • The Definitive Miles Davis - Ovation TV Premiere

    July 14, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.

    Add new comment | Filed under: Jazz Alive

    miles-davis-701.jpg

    The other night I was flipping throught the digital TV guide, and I ran across the Ovation channel.  They were premiering a 3-hour Miles Davis documentary.  Needless to say, I was psyched.  I mean, I love watching all of the older documentaries, but to see something brand new about jazz, Miles, or whatever really got me excited.  I realized that I did not have Ovation (though I have enjoyed their programming on many other people's televisions, lol).  But when I saw the rest of the line up for the night, I was moved to pick up my phone, call my cable provider and order the channel finally.  I mean they were showing a John Coltrane profile, followed by a Monk profile, and at 1AM they were going to show Straight No Chaser.  I mean, c'mon!

    Anyway, the documentary was very cool.  I mean, I will say that for 3 hours, they didn't really master the transitions of Miles' musical career that well, but there was some cool footage, especially of later years.  It also delved quite a bit into his work as a visual artist.  I was happy about that, because that's an era of Miles' life I was not as well-versed on.  

    It re-aired on Saturday, and I have a feeling they are going to be airing it quite a lot this month.  Along with all of the other great jazz and non-jazz musical programming they are doing, I highly recommend giving this channel a once-over.  You're definitely going to find something you like.

  • Homesick

    July 13, 2008. Posted by Amy Niles.

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    Excuse me, but I am about to step up on my soapbox.

    I was at a dinner party the other night, and I said that I don't really get out much, My days are long between WBGO and my kids. But then someone at the table mentioned a performer who I had just seen, and then another one and yet another one. . . OK, maybe I get out more than I realized. How lucky am I to live in NY. I just pulled out a list of the events that our marketing crew will be attending this summer- I started to hyperventilate looking over the schedule. Add that to all of the ones that we had to pass on because we simply didn't have enough staff,  it is mindboggling. So many great artists- and so much of it is FREE. Simone and Regina Carter FREE thanks to Lincoln Center Out of Doors, James Moody, Cyrus Chestnut, TS Monk FREE at Lincoln Park, Felix Hernandez and Rhythm Revue FREE in Prospect Park as part of a partnership with the Park, Heart of Brooklyn and us here at WBGO on September 27th. The list goes on. Do I take it for granted?

    Sound of me climbing onto my soapbox- I write this from a weekend away in another time zone where people whiz by in cars and I seem to go to the movies everytime I visit because that is what art is. That's not a dig to my movie loving/making friends, its just a statement about the lack of choices available here. We metro area NY/NJers sometimes forget just how arts rich are lives are. Even though I work in the arts, I forget too.This is my thank you to all of us who make it our business to insure that the arts are supported. The corporations who despite stock prices tumbling still find room in the budget to underwrite a concert that they know will introduce kids to great music. And that's where WBGO fits into the picture- we make as much of this accessible to those outside of the area with the live broadcasts and interviews that we do, and the blogging too.

    So one big group hug- to all who produce, present, and support this great art of live performance- and for those of you who can attend, keep doing your part and  support these events.And for those of you in Japan, and California, and Montreal and Korea and London and Texas who read this blog and listen to WBGO- keep your radio on and keep supporting the arts.

    Thanks for listening.

    AMY