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sábado, febrero 07, 2009

Bluenote: Fading, Fading, Fading Away

I remember when New York's jazz radio station, WRVR, announced in 1980 that it was finished playing jazz and that it would begin to play country music. To me, that was a disaster. No more Roger Dawson, no more Sunday Salsa show. No more Fats Navarro, Kenny Dorham. Never mind that WRVR never would play Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler, Pharaoh Sanders. Never mind that. It was what we had, it was great, and then it was unceremoniously gone.

Yes, radio jazz in New York continued with WKCR (thank you, Phil Schaap) and WBGO in Newark and sometimes WBAI. And yes, over the years, even those stations' voices became more middle-of-the-road, they played fewer jazz classics, they struggled for audience, they lost their vibrancy, they became, dare I say it, commerical.

And now, word in the New York Times that beloved Bluenote Records, a 70 year old label, the iconic jazz record label has "entered a pivotal moment in its history." To me, it sounds like this label, just like all of the other labels, is fading, fading, fading away. It doesn't matter what they try to sell. It doesn't matter how commercial they become. In the era of downloading and new media, labels can exist only as libraries, they have nothing to sell that anyone will buy. Alas, and sadly, just like the jazz radio stations before it, Bluenote is another revered dinosaurs on its lumbering way to the fossil factory.

Let's give them a nice, warm round of applause, let's give them some love and appreciation, and sadly wave good bye:

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