Can One Issue of a Magazine Change Your Life?

The short answer for me is yes.  I began subscribing to “Stereo Review” around 1970, while a student at University of Georgia.  By 1975 I was 25 years old, living in the Washington, D.C. area and my interest in music was evolving into a full fledged addiction.  It was fed by superb radio stations WHFS, WMAL-FM, and Felix Grant’s nightly jazz program on WMAL-AM.  And it was  further nurtured by regular visits to the legendary Cellar Door, where I had the privilege of seeing Jesse Colin Young, Kenny Rankin, Roger McGuinn, Aztec Two-Step, Harry Chapin, Mary Travers, Iain Matthews and so many others.  Through Felix Grant’s program I had my first encounter with the music of Blossom Dearie.  A new world was unfolding for me. And then I received my copy of Stereo Review’s February 1975 issue with Mabel’s Mercer’s face on the cover and the heading “Mabel Mercer and the Art of Cabaret”.  Mabel Mercer was a new name to me.  And as I read the lead article written by the legendary writer/editor Williams Livingstone, which was published in honor of  Mercer’s 75th birthday and then the accompanying article “Cabaret” by Robert Connolly the world of Jackie Cain & Roy Kral, Mel Torme, Anita O’Day, Ronny Whyte, Sylvia Syms and so many other jazz and cabaret singers not only became part of my musical life, but fueled an obsession that directly led me to become an avid listener to Alec Wilder’s and Loonis McGlohon’s award winning NPR program “American Popular Song” in 1977. Jazz vocal music became a passion and on January 4, 1980, my crazy dream of hosting a radio program exploring and celebrating this music became a reality.  Forty-one years later I’m still at it, still passionate, and still dedicated to having this music heard and appreciated by the wide audience which it so deserves. Thanks...

Your opportunity to support WHRV and VSOJAZ

It’s certainly no secret that virtually every type of arts and entertainment related organizaztion has been negatively impacted as a result of Covid-19.   While performers who depend on revenue from live performances have certainly been amongst those hardest hit, listener supported radio stations like WHRO/WHRV are facing significant budget challenges as well.   Because “Vocal Sound of Jazz” airs live late on Saturday evenings, I don’t get much opportunity to appeal to those of you who enjoy and value the program to show your support by making a contribution to the stations.   But here in these challenging times any help you are willing to give in terms of support would be very appreciated.  You can donate very simply by clicking here: whrv.org/donate  ...

Making The Most Of It and Supporting Musicians

Like most of us I have been spending a great deal of time sequestered in my home.   I miss being able to go to bars, clubs, and concert halls to experience live music, but I have been totally amazed at the number and quality of online live events.  Experiencing these performances via Facebook or Youtube with picture and sound mirrored from my Ipad to a large screen television connected to my Sonos sound system has been a revelation.  I also discovered the Facebook Watch app on Apple TV, which streams most of these events (and also archives a few of  them) to be an easy way to access. Wonderful performances of Brazilian music by Philadelphia based duo Minas and Miami based Rose Max and Ramatis Moraes have been regular events for my wife and I.  Janis Siegel and Lauren Kinhan’s “Vocal Gumbo” is filled with good music and humor.   I have also had the chance to catch John Pizzarelli, Dena DeRose, and a few others during this time. Virtually every muscian makes it easy to support them financially during this difficult time via Venmo or Paypal. ...

“In every cloud there is a silver lining”

As the days “sequestered at home” roll by, it has been an unexpected pleasure to have the time to search for, discover and listen to music that I have never heard before.   As you would expect much of this music is jazz vocal music, but my long term affinity for harmony filled rock music, British folk-rock, Brazilian music,  and singer/songwriters has filled my days with many hours of pleasurable listening.  But that’s only half of the “silver lining”.    What has been unexpected is the time to go back and listen to so many albums in my collection that I have not heard for many years. Hope to feature some of these recent “re-discoveries” on future Vocal Sound of Jazz programs.  Stay tuned and stay well!...

“In every cloud there is a silver lining”

As the days “sequestered at home” roll by, it has been an unexpected pleasure to have the time to search for, discover and listen to music that I have never heard before.   As you would expect much of this music is jazz vocal music, but my long term affinity for harmony filled rock music, British folk-rock, Brazilian music,  and singer/songwriters has filled my days with many hours of pleasurable listening.  But that’s only half of the “silver lining”.    What has been unexpected is the time to go back and listen to so many albums in my collection that I have not heard for many years. Hope to feature some of these recent “re-discoveries” on future Vocal Sound of Jazz programs.  Stay tuned and stay well!...

The “Vocal Sound of Jazz” 40 Years

The “Vocal Sound of Jazz” returns on Saturday January 4, 2020 with a program celebrating the beginning of our 41st year.  We will be reprising many of the songs and artists that were featured on our debut broadcast in 1980 and a will also be looking ahead as we spotlight recent releases by Tony Desare, Cathy Segal-Garcia, and Vince...

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