My name is Al Evans and I live in a small town east of Portland, Oregon. For eight and a half years I hosted a popular three hour radio show called “Saturday Night Jazz” (SNJ).
The show ended in 2010, but my love of jazz did not.
“Jazz For A Saturday Night” (JFASN) began life at www.saturdaynightjazz.blogspot.com, a blog that I created originally to promote the radio show. For various reasons I won’t go into here (but which you can read about on the site) I decided it was finally time to give the blog it’s own home.
The radio show’s format was pretty straightforward: 20 minutes of ‘classic’ jazz, followed by 20 minutes of new releases, followed by another 20 minutes of ‘classic’ jazz. For the purposes of SNJ (and this column), ‘new release’ means an album that was released within the last four or five months; ‘classic’ jazz is anything older than that.
SNJ did not feature just any jazz. For one thing, so-called ‘smooth-jazz’ was absolutely never included. Also avoided for the most part were most vocals and what I called ‘book-reading music’. Not that I never played vocals or mellow music; Jackie Ryan and Mia Vermillion are two of the many vocalists whom I did play, and Beverly Ritz’s self-released CD “Lacey Mae” was likewise a mellow treat that many SNJ listeners enjoyed.
They were the exception rather than the rule, however. Saturday nights are for partying and having a good time, and that calls for fast-paced, upbeat mostly instrumental music. Artists like Jack McDuff, Eric Alexander, Devon Phillips, Dexter Gordon, Reggie Houston, Tom Scott, Steve Gadd, Jimmie Smith, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, Branford Marsalis, Sonny Rollins, and on and on and on…
When SNJ was on the air, I devoted fully one third of each hour to playing new releases. I was astounded when someone in the new management at KMHD told me his definition of “new release” is anything issued after 1980.
That, to be blunt, is absurd.
To better help you understand what you’ll be reading here, should you decide to return, my intention is to write about jazz CD’s I like which fit in with the kind of jazz that I did, or would have, played on SNJ.
I would like to call your attention to the words “my intention is to write about jazz CD’s I like” in the sentence above. If I don’t like an album, I will not write about it, period.
Each review runs between 800 and 1300 words, and often includes links to related content on YouTube or other web sites.
I presently receive only a very limited number of new discs, however, and since I can’t afford to run out and buy copies of everything that comes out, albums mentioned here are of necessity going to be mostly limited to ‘classic’ jazz… For the most part, music that I already have in my personal collection.
If you are an active jazz artist (or represent one) whose music fits the description above, and if you would like to have one or more of your albums, new or old, considered for inclusion in a future column, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I’ll provide you with an address you can submit them to for evaluation.
So there you have it. There are over seventy reviews on the old site, and I hope you will go there and see what gems you can find.
But the future is here, and I expect that this new blog will build upon the old one and reach new heights.
If you care to, you can also follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.
Thanks for your understanding and your support.
Wood Village, Oregon.
Your comments about this article and/or the subject are welcome! Please use the “Leave a Reply” box below. Rude, abusive comments and spam will be deleted.
I would like to once again discuss newer releases here, as well as older, classic jazz. If you represent a jazz artist with an album you feel would “fit in” here, whether new release or old, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will provide you with an address you can submit a review copy.
Please note that acceptance by me of a copy of your album for consideration is no guarantee that it will be reviewed here.
My original content, including photos other than album covers, Copyright © 2013 by Al Evans. All rights reserved.