There are a lot of changes here at the station these days. Most notably, Simon Pontin signed off for the last time last week after more than 30 years on the air. The outpouring of good wishes - and pledges - from the community was a good reminder of the importance of music in our lives. The act of sharing it is powerful, and we can attach a lot of emotion to the people who do the sharing.
Although I never met him, I'll always have great affection for Will Moyle, who hosted The Essence of Jazz for years on AM 1370. Tom Hampson*, the host of Mostly Jazz, is still at it, now in his 50th year as a broadcaster. Some other names come to mind...Vin Scelsa in New York, Catherine Meinhold at SUNY Fredonia, Scott Wallace and Doug Curry on WRUR here in Rochester. Those voices have led me to discover new musical landscapes. The motivation to be on-air myself is to extend that invitation to others. One leg of the journey will end this month. After more than 10 years hosting What’s New, I’ll be hanging up the headphones (except for my other show Mystery Train). The last two jazz programs will spotlight some personal favorites. This weekend, we start appropriately with some urgent tick tock percussion, the opening of Thomas Chapin’s “Alphaville.” The clock marks time…30 seconds, 30 years.
Time, as much as nature, is the medium for artist Andy Goldsworthy. He works with icicles and sand and leaves and rocks. Nothing gets hung in a gallery. The works eventually fall apart where they stand. “We’re always wanting to hold onto things as they are,” Andy said in a recent New York Times article. “But that’s not the nature of life or things, is it?”
I heard a variation on that during a recent road trip to Akron. We had the new Neko Case CD Middle Cyclone in the player...“The next time you say forever, I will punch you in your face.”
*You can see Tom Hampson on WXXI-TV on June 2nd during a special on the Rochester International Jazz Festival and then in person at the actual festival.