Crossovers on Audiophile Jazz (Citylite 88.3)

Audiophile Jazz (1993 -1994) – A radio program produced by audio enthusiasts for audio enthusiasts. The show was recorded on some of the finest home high end audio equipment.

The program’s format consisted of jazz music from the collections of guest audiophiles invited to this weekly show.
Aside from the usual suspects such as Carol Kidd, Jazz at the Pawnshop, Amanda McBroom and other staples of the audiophile community, mainstream jazz tunes from Davis, Coltrane, Baker et al. were also naturally featured.

I was privileged (or rather persuaded) to guest in one of the shows but was quite hesitant at first. The only mainstream jazz records, I felt worth bringing to the show, were previously played by guests who were invited before me.

I decided to give the program a twist.

Audiophile 1
(click to enlarge)

AJ : Hi Good evening Boy

bb3: Good evening David

AJ: So how’s life out there?

bb3: Ok

AJ: Great! Ok Boy – Now we’ve been mentioning so far about your collection and so far it sounded already very different from what the collections of our past audiophile guests.  Maybe you’d give a sneak preview of what else to expect from this very unique collection of yours

bb3: Basically, our program tonight will feature jazz fusion of the mid 70’s to the 80’. You know ever since the commercial success of George Benson’s Breezin’ in 1976, jazz fusion or pop jazz as others would call, it has been widely accepted as another musical genre.

Also we would be covering some cross-overs to jazz – some rock artists playing jazz, a few pop artists. . .As you mentioned earlier, a disco group paying jazz. Well earlier, we heard Floyd Kramer . . .

AJ: Yes, that was our first cut actually.

bb3:  . . . a country and western instrumentalist with his rendition of Soulful Strut, a famous R&B hit by Young-Holt Unlimited during the 60’s.

AJ: But you wouldn’t call this Boy, You wouldn’t actually call this commercial jazz, would you?

bb3: Well some people claim it is.

AJ: Some people claim it is . . .but actually, these are tunes which have long been unheard of but remained popular nevertheless. When people do hear it, it’s very familiar . . .

bb3: Yeah, that’s right.

AJ: . . . and easy to tap your shoe too actually.

Ok, we’ll get back to more discussions with Boy Bustamante. But first we’re going to play more of his collection. And coming up right now Guitar Etude #3 from Dan Fogelberg and Tim Wiesberg and then following that Feels So Good by Laurindo Almeida

AJ: Tell us, what is this thing called “natural air”?

bb3: The way I see it, is “air” would be the space around each instrument, each voice, enabling you to pinpoint exactly where the head of the vocalist is. . . or maybe the trumpet would be left of center with the drums somewhere behind . . . This focusing, for me, is a primary facet in the imaging of the recording. Lateral imaging and depth is vital in producing the proper soundstage of said recording.

AJ: Alright, but I guess many people who do listen to music, and I would presume almost everyone, they would say – Is that really that necessary? Or is it more necessary just to enjoy the music  period, without having to worry about whether you can pinpoint the vocalist, or where the trumpet is . . .

bb3: Of course, the music comes first but if you can have both, so much the better. A good recording adds a further dimension to casual listening making the experience much more enjoyable.  .  . but yes, the music comes first.

AJ: That’s what it’s all about, trying to re create the emotional experience of the original performance.

And that is the point behind enjoying good audiophile jazz music


(Alternate video)

bb3: Well I use this Blood, Sweat, and Tears track, the Al Kooper vocals on the song Without Her – I use it as a reference for the vocals, sort of a male counterpart to Dusty Springfield’s Look of Love.

AJ: So that’s another thing people I guess aren’t clear about audiophile music. You mentioned Blood, Sweat, and Tears. People are probably of the impression that this is simply pop music. And from your standpoint, therefore what exactly do we mean by audiophile music? -since now we’re throwing in a lot of out very popular and very familiar names in the music world.

bb3: Most, if not all so-called audiophile pressings are meant to test the equipment. They definitely do sound great but I find some performances lacking that certain magic I enjoy on regular recordings. The Blood, Sweat, and Tears album – although that particular album was not purposely done as an audiophile recording, it does sound good. Some recordings need not be labeled audiophile to sound good. Columbia six eyes, nine o’clock A&Ms – are just a few labels with a treasure trove of good music and good sound. Hunting for that gem in the rough, I guess is part and parcel of this hobby.

AJ: I think some of the songs you’ve played so far, and we’ve had quite a few, are not necessarily what audiophiles would consider audiophile standard cuts. But actually maybe because of the historical significance or musical significance – of the songs we’re talking about, that makes it audiophile in itself already.

Alright Boy. . .He’s nodding his head. I guess so then. Let’s continue Without Her. I guess we can continue Without Her by the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.

(Alternate video)

AJ: Boy, these three songs apparently fall into a category probably known as a cross-over from pop to jazz. What exactly does that mean?

bb3: Well, these are songs by artists crossing over from their musical habitat to the jazz genre. A rock group crossing over to jazz.  I let My Woman Flow is a Latin jazz -inspired number  featuring Gerry Garcia, of the Grateful Dead on steel pedal strings. By the way, I use this – the steel pedal strings as a reference to test the tracking of the cartridge.

AJ: The tracking of the cartridge?

bb3: Yes,  break up on the steel pedal strings means cartridge mistracking.

AJ: Ok, now, well for our listeners out there, he’s talking about analogue here. You might get a little lost.

bb3: yes, that’s a record.

AJ: Alright. You might be thinking we’re talking about car brakes. No, we’re talking about the steel pedal guitar and he’s talking about the cartridge of a turntable. And he was describing basically the break up on the steel pedal guitar.

Ok. So that’s clear

A bit of trivia: There was an issue regarding Bong Penera’s Samba Song. The reps of Citylite 88.3 wanted me to edit out and replace Samba Song. Apparently, the management of 88.3 then discouraged playing Tagalog songs on their station. Sort of an unwritten rule in order to maintain the station’s ‘upper bracket status’.
I had to stand my ground while explaining to them who Bong Penera was and his contribution to 70’s local jazz circuit. If they were going to scrap the song, they might as well scrap the whole program.
After much discussion, they eventually gave in, and allowed the song to be played .
So there you have it – Samba Song was the first Tagalog song to be played in Citylite 88.3.

bb3: Well, usually audio enthusiasts pass thru that baptism of fire via McBroom, Jazz At The Pawnshop, and all the rest of audiophile recordings. As you mature in this hobby, you get to realize that there is life outside these audiophile records. You discover new artists, rediscover old ones, regardless of the sound.

But as much as I enjoy discovering new artists, my comfort zone has always been music that I grew up with – which was basically our program tonight. Enjoying this music supersedes all the technical aspects of the recording.

AJ: That’s true and I’m glad you mentioned Jazz At The Pawnshop – seems to be a standard, a staple in fact of audiophiles.

But, really what we’re looking for in Jazz At The Pawnshop is more of the sonic qualities. And it’s more of like testing your stereo system.

bb3: It’s still good to have those at hand though.

AJ: Well it is good music but sometimes the sonic qualities or the technical expertise of Jazz At The Pawnshop may have gotten into the way of the music and audiophiles tend to forget about the music and think too much about the equipment and all those little details they’re supposed to hear.

Well those are great thoughts Boy and thank you again for joining us tonight on Audiophile Jazz

Bb3: My pleasure David.

Apparently, that fusion/crossover  program was well received by the listeners of the show.

I was invited to do a sequel a few weeks after. Sadly though, I lost the tapes from that second show.

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  1. […] up a playlist such as Philly Soul, Jazz Fusion-inspired Soundtracks, Soft Rock Bossa, Crossovers Crossovers on Audiophile Jazz (Citylite 88.3), Flukes, etc.. In addition, current releases from my library were to be introduced via the show. […]



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