Archive for jazz radio

JAZZ LIVES!!! May 18th: My Final LIVE CLTC Radio Broadcast

Posted in Charlotte Community Rado, Jazz in Charlotte, JazzLives!, The Jazz Continues..., Under The Radar, Unsung Women of Jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2017 by curtjazz

Well, it’s been fun…

CurtJazz Studio 225With Charlotte Community Radio going off air this month, the last LIVE edition of JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, will air Thursday, May 18th from 6:00pm to 9:00pmEst.

When Bridget asked me last spring if I would be interested in having a program on Charlotte Community Radio (CLTCRadio), it was exciting, a bit scary albeit perfectly timed. I worked in AM-FM radio in New York City through most of the 90’s, ran a web-based jazz radio station from 2004 to 2016, but I had been away from live radio since 2000. So I was somewhat out of practice on May 12, 2016 when I first opened the mic, but my trepidation quickly dissipated and the joy returned.

Mike hackett

With trumpet master Mike Hackett

So I want to say “Thank You”; first, to Bridget B. Sullivan and Melvin Nix, co-founders of CLTCRadio, for the chance to knock some rust off these old pipes and remind me that this is “what I do”.

Nicci Canada 1

With vocalist Nicci Canada

And a huge thanks to my guests. The incredible, world-class musicians who call the Carolinas home and who took time out of their incredibly busy schedules to spend some time with us: Dawn Anthony; Lovell Bradford; Will Campbell; Nicci Canada; Tenya Coleman; Harvey Cummings; Lonnie Davis; Ocie Davis; Buff Dillard; Mike Hackett; Amos Hoffman, and Tim Scott, Jr.; I am forever in your debt.

amos hoffman collage

Guitarist Amos Hoffman – Live in the CLTC Studios

My biggest appreciation goes out to all of you who listened and hopefully, enjoyed the music, as I shared my passion for jazz and for the artistry of living musicians. Some of you were friends from long ago that I reunited with. Some are a more recent part of my life. You were all a huge part of rekindling an old dream and I will always be grateful to you for that.

I’m on Twitter and Instagram as @curtjazz, and on Facebook as CurtJazzRadio. My website is Let’s keep in touch.

God Bless You and Goodnight.

New Holiday Jazz Albums 2015

Posted in New on the Playlist, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , , , on December 15, 2015 by curtjazz

When I first started featuring Christmas and Holiday Season Jazz on my web station, Curt’s Cafe Noir, in 2005, it took a bit of work to find sufficiently diverse jazz content to allow the station to run all Holiday music. Now, ten years later, there’s so much music to choose from, from so many different sources, that I can program 24 hours of Holiday Jazz and afford to be selective.

From Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra’s Joyful Jazz, “Merry Christmas John Coltrane”

And this season has brought another crop of strong and varied Christmas Jazz Albums. Here are samples from a few of my favorites that you’ll hear on Curt’s Cafe Noir’s 24/7 JazzMas Party, through December 26. As an extra bonus, we have the album that is my favorite new seasonal offering, Etienne Charles’ Creole Christmas, in an exciting live version, recorded at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, in New York City.

From the Count Basie Orchestra’s A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas! “Good Swing Wenceslas”

Enjoy the samples, pick up a copy of the full albums, if you dig the tracks and tune in to Curt’s Cafe Noir WebJazz Radio, for great Christmas Jazz.

From David Benoit Trio’s Believe; “The Christmas Waltz” (feat. Jane Monheit)

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Recorded Live at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC; trumpeter Etienne Charles with a concert version of his new album Creole Christmas


Teddy Charles – A Personal Recollection

Posted in In Memoriam with tags , , , on April 19, 2012 by curtjazz

On hearing of the passing of vibraphonist Teddy Charles a few days ago, I thought back to the late ’90’s, when I worked for WPBX-FM (now WLIU), on Long Island’s East End; back in the days when it was an all-jazz station.

I was a few months into my tenure, hanging out with some of the other members of the on-air staff, when the discussion turned to difficult callers, some of whom were older jazz musicians who had settled out in the Hamptons. They could be a tough bunch, who didn’t suffer fools gladly, especially when it came to the music that they loved and had played for much of their lives.  The veteran guys agreed that the toughest of these cats was Teddy Charles. 

The stories bounced around the table about Mr. Charles’ calls to our listener line, each story more frightening than the last about Teddy’s profane criticisms of the musical selections, the on-air staff and the sanity of everyone involved with the station.  When I confess that I hadn’t encountered Charles yet, I was told, with a knowing grin, “Oh don’t worry, your turn will come”

A few months later, I was doing my Saturday night show.  I was closing out a three song set at the top of the hour with Dizzy’s Big Band version of Horace Silver’s “Doodlin’“, when the white light that signaled a phone call,  lit up. I answered; and a gravelly voice began this memorable exchange:

CALLER: ” I just wanna tell ya, that you’re playing some great shit tonight. I try to tell the rest of those idiots there what the music is all about, but they don’t listen to me, they’ve all got their heads up their asses, but you get it kid, so I wanna tell you to keep on doing what you do”

ME: “Well, thank you, sir; I’m glad that you like what you hear. What’s your name, friend?”

CALLER: Teddy Charles

ME (trying unsuccessfully to hide my surprise): “The Teddy Charles?”

CHARLES: “That’s right”

ME: “Well, sir; now I’m really honored to hear from you, I hear that you’re a fan of the station…”

CHARLES: “Well, I wouldn’t say I was a fan, most of you guys over there are idiots, but you and [another station personality] , are about the only ones who have a clue. I know I beat you guys up a lot, so I wanted to let you know when you get it right.

ME: “Well, Mr. Charles I really appreciate your call and the support…”

CHARLES: “No problem, now play some Mingus, will ya?” [Hangs up]

I had almost three hours to go in my shift at that point, but nothing else mattered.  I had faced the most ferocious lion in our listening audience and instead of biting my head off, he had purred.  During long sets throughout that night, I called some of my colleagues and the Program Director to tell them about my encounter. To a man, they were impressed. In fact, I seemed to go from “rookie” to “big dog”, in a few eyes, from that moment on.

I worked at the station for another three years. Though others spoke of their continuing encounters with the “Wrath of Ted”, I never heard from him again, though I heard from those who did speak with him, that he would occasionally hold my work up as an example, while berating them.

Not all of my conversations went as well during my tenure and I admit that time has washed away the details of many of them. But that one stuck and caused a smile to come to my face whenever I heard Teddy Charles’ name or some of his music.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Charles. You played some “great shit” too.