Monday, October 19, 2009

Michael Bloomberg, the King of New York

"We need to help our mayor[New York's Michael Bloomberg] get elected not for four more years;for me, I would love to see him here for 20 more years."--Oscar de la Renta, fashion designer ( "Let Bloomy Reign, sez fashion big Oscar de la Renta," New York Daily News, October 18, 2009)

At the end of multi-billionaire Bloomberg's 20-year reign, New York, especially Manhattan, would be more expensive than it is now. And rich guys like de la Renta would be the only ones able to afford to live here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Top 10 Most Requested Smooth Jazz Songs

The following are the Top 10 Requested Smooth Jazz Songs of All Time. These songs were chosen by the listeners of New York's WQCD, Smooth Jazz CD101.9 (no longer on the air):

10. "Sweet Love"--Anita Baker
9. "Take Five"-- Dave Brubeck Quartet
8. "Mr. Magic"--Grover Washington, Jr.
7. "Careless Whispers"--George Michael
6. "Linus & Lucy"--David Benoit
5. "Rise"--Herb Alpert
4. "Smooth Operator"--Sade
3. "Feel So Good"--Chuck Mangione
2. "Breezin'"--George Benson
1. "Songbird"--Kenny G

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mickey Rourke and the F-Word

According to Julie Gordon's "Buzz" column item about actor Mickey Rourke ("Not Sorry for Slur," amNewYork, Oct. 12, 2009), he used a slur word that is used against gay men, during what was described as "a drunken rant." Rourke refused to apologize for using the unprintable "f-----" (presumably "faggot" and not "fruit" or "fairy") and told that the word "has nothing to do with gay."
Does he also use the equally offensive slur "nigger," brushing it off as not having anything to do with black people? Just asking.
When Larry Kramer titled a novel Faggot in the 1970s, he got the cold shoulder from a lot of people in the gay community. Let's see what the reaction will be from GLAAD and other gay groups to Rourke's use of the F-word.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bring Back Smooth Jazz Radio in New York

WQCD (CD101.9), the erstwhile smooth jazz station that served the New York metropolitan area, began in 1988. I didn't start listening to it until late 1999. I continued listening until it changed to a rock format around March 2008.
Many of the CDs I bought I first heard on CD101.9. Now that the station no longer exists, there's nowhere to turn for the sound of smooth jazz. I miss hearing the station on the public address system at my local bank branch and the supermarket. I miss hearing Joe Sample and Chris Botti and Sade on my walkman as I stroll through Central Park on a Sunday afternoon. Now whenever I play one of my CDs, it brings back joyful memories of the station.
There are other jazz stations in the area--WBGO in Newark and WKCR, on the campus of Columbia University--but they play only classic jazz artists like Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald. But where do I go to hear contemporary artists like Chris Botti, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Marc Antoine?
CD101.9 wasn't perfect. In fact, their playlist was very limited. If I didn't know any better I would have thought that Dave Brubeck only recorded "Take Five." Plus their definition of smooth jazz was too broad. Stevie Wonder and Lou Rawls are not smooth jazz artists. The artists who would qualify for the label like Carmen McRae, Al Jarreau, Noel Pointer, Lee Ritenour, and Michael Buble,to name a few, were never heard on the station.
Another gripe I had with the station was their playing of edited versions of "Killer Joe" by Quincy Jones and "This Masquerade" by George Benson. I know the station was a commercial
broadcaster, but couldn't they have played the longer versions, especially during the overnight hours?
But aside from those complaints, I was a faithful listener. I hope some other station will take up the smooth jazz banner and maybe do a better job presenting this smoothing, laid back style.