More Jazz

RECEIVED Fri., Oct. 10, 2003

Am I the only longtime KUT listener who is bugged by the recent direction of the afternoon program Jazz, Etc.?
   I admire Jay Trachtenberg and all the years of smart jazz and reggae programming he's done on KUT and other radio stations in town. But since the recent shuffle which moved Paul Ray out of the Jazz, Etc. timeslot, the show has gone from excessively conservative (it could have been called Organ Trios, Etc.) to completely undiscriminating. The Jazz, Etc. playlists back me up: A quick glance at recent days turns up Joan Baez, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, John Hiatt, Plastilina Mosh, Radiohead, the White Stripes, and Warren Zevon among many other 99 3/4% jazz-free acts.
   I really hate sounding like a philistine, and I'm not saying Trachtenberg hasn't been playing some good music. But there's not enough jazz programming in this town to see any of it disappear without raising a fuss. Unlike the situation with classical programming, where KMFA could take up the slack as John Aielli drifted away from his classical roots, Austin doesn't have a 24-hour jazz station a nudge away on the dial. And as someone who grew up tuning into distant university stations late at night to catch jazz on the air, I believe that radio airplay is a crucial part of developing each new generation of listeners and keeping the art form alive.
   If KUT's intention is to turn the 1-to-3pm slot into Eklektikos II, the least they could do is rename it – and give the jazz community another eight hours somewhere in their programming day.
Prentiss Riddle
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