Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jazz 1, Smooth 0

I was quite happy to read in the paper yesterday that the Oasis is no more, the smooth "jazz" radio station here in Dallas (and yes, my quotation marks are exactly where I want them to be) has been replaced with something called "rhythmic hits" of the '80s to the present (as opposed to those hits that have no rhythm at all, I suppose). According to the article,
"We're in the business of serving as many listeners as possible with a format," says Kurt Johnson, vice president of programming for CBS Radio in Dallas. "While The Oasis had many loyal fans for many years, it simply wasn't reaching the audience we need to reach."
I tend to see this as encouraging; I'm not sure that the collective musical taste in the area is improving, but at least they're not listening to that anymore. Granted, I suppose that one could argue that the smooth stuff could become a "gateway" to more intricate instrumental music, but I'm just not sure that listening to the Oasis really steered all that many people toward actual jazz.

(Yes, I refuse to call the smooth stuff "jazz" without the quotation marks. I'm sorry, but I just don't think that there's that much true improvisation going on. Also, with few exceptions [Chris Botti may be alone in this category] nobody in this genre ever performs with actual jazz musicians. I've always wished there was a better name for that genre; the original "New Age" scared listeners away because of its religious implications, and Yuppie Hot Tub Wallpaper Music (my preferred moniker) is just too big to fit on the shelf at the CD store. I suppose that "instrumental pop" would be the best name for this stuff.)

At least there will no longer be any confusion if someone is looking for a jazz radio station in Dallas; The One really has become the one now. Oh, and I love the quote at the beginning of the article: "The background music at your dentist's office may never be the same."

UPDATE: Eric weighed in on the subject yesterday, and his commenters weren't too happy about the change; I'm betting that most of mine will either say "meh" or "yay."

One other angle that I forgot to mention earlier is that the only thing I could say in the Oasis' favor was that it did provide some commercial sponsorship of "real" jazz concerts (especially free ones), and I'm not sure what will fill that void; KNTU certainly doesn't have the budget to do that.

Stupid criminal of the week: If you're going to court for a DWI hearing, it's best not to show up drunk.

Worst job performance of the week: If it's your first day on a new job babysitting a kid after he's done at daycare, it's best not to go to the daycare center and pick up the wrong kid.


Eric Grubbs said...

My post on this has generated a number of comments from angry listeners. They are not happy at all about this change . . .

Ms. Worley said...

you can count me as a "meh"