Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole’s Secret Garden, the page that offers a British perspective on the very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul. As well as leaving a huge gap in the market, the news effective from 4-00 pm on February 5 that WQCD 101.9 in New York has switched formats from smooth jazz to rock has delivered a damning indictment on the state of smooth jazz radio in the USA. In fact where the genre does manage to survive, especially when buried within the choice deprived play lists served up on radio by Broadcast Architecture, it is as a watered down version of its once glorious self. Worse still, those mainly independent artists who strive to recapture the music’s traditional edginess struggle to find an outlet. Consequently let’s thank heavens for the publicists, websites and streaming radio stations who are prepared to offer a voice to those performers who otherwise would never be heard. Steve Quirk’s Fusion Flavours at Smooth Radio 100.4 is a shining example. Now in its eighteenth year the show streams worldwide every Sunday at midnight UK time when Quirk’s carefully researched blend of music from both established and up-coming performers provides the perfect antidote to syndicated radio.
Meanwhile its likely that those New York listeners who inadvertently tune into rock at WQCD 101.9 may well hear and relate to Bruce Springsteen’s pointed 1992 commentary on television choice, ‘57 Channels (And Nothin On)’. For smooth jazz fans it now fits radio just as well.Posted by Denis Poole at February 10, 2008 11:52 AM