Welcome to “Jazz For A Saturday Night.” My name is Al Evans, and for eight and a half years, I had the distinct honor and privilege of hosting a weekly three-hour radio show called “Saturday Night Jazz” (“SNJ”).
The show’s motto was, “Jazz… Real jazz. And a little blues too,” and most of the music I played was melodic, accessible jazz that could be enjoyed by anyone.
I hosted SNJ from March 2002 until July 2010, at which time it was replaced by a show that had been created by the station’s then-new program director. This was despite SNJ’s continued popularity and high ratings.
The program director graciously offered me the opportunity to host the replacement show, and I accepted. The show’s format sounded fairly simple and straightforward, until I sat down and really began to program the first few shows.
The seemingly simple format that had been described to me quickly revealed itself to be a programming nightmare in actual practice. I found myself spending almost every waking moment that I was not at my day job programming the show. Between the two, I had virtually no free time to do other things.
When you are a volunteer, and the thing you have volunteered to do is no longer enjoyable, it can be difficult to stay motivated to continue. After only a few weeks hosting the replacement show, I made the difficult decision to end my relationship with the station.
But enough of the past. The future is where it’s happening!
Saturday nights are for partying and having a good time, and that calls for fast-paced, upbeat music, mostly instrumental. 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 many others.
Those are names you undoubtedly know. But there are hundreds if not thousands of other fantastic jazz artists who, for whatever reason, toil in relative obscurity. You will find a few of those folks represented here also.
If you are a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll provide you with an address you can submit them to for evaluation. (I can accommodate CD or vinyl.)
I do have to include two disclaimers about album submissions: There is no guarantee I will write about every album that is sent to me; and I neither listen to nor write about smooth jazz.
If you would like to know more about my lifelong love of music in general, you might check out an article I wrote for Jazz Appreciation Month in 2013 titled, “My Evolution From Accidental Jazz Admirer To Intentional Jazz Lover.”
Thanks for reading this. 🙂
Wood Village, Oregon