Phil Schaap is the man!

I was running some errands earlier today and had Phil Schaap’s jazz program on the car radio. If you even remotely like jazz and have never heard his program (you can check the schedule and stream his shows online here: www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/wkcr/), then I implore you to tune in and check out some of his shows. He has an amazing way to dig into the stories, into the history, analyzing the music … one time I heard him dissect a Charlie Parker song, playing 3 seconds of music, telling the audience what happened, playing 3 more seconds, telling what happened, and so forth. This may strike most people as very boring, but Schaap has a passion and relentless quest to tell the story that it can’t help but to draw you in.

Case in point today: on Bix Beiderbecke’s birthday, the day was filled with Bix’s music, and Schaap was debating whether Bix’s parents sent him to a military school because of trouble that young Bix had gotten into, or whether it was because his parents wanted to steer him away from jazz. The basis for both sides of the argument made for a compelling listen. Schaap is so good, I think he could make a compelling story out of Charlie Parker wearing mis-matching socks.

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