I was driving to work today and popped on the fabulous WKCR expecting to hear Phil Schaap and Bird Flight, but instead was treated to the Roy Campbell memorial broadcast. For those of you not in the know, WKCR will often preempt their radio programming when an important jazz figure passes away and play 24 or so hours of their material.
I’ve come to realize that I am an awfully late adopter of jazz music. Gowing up, jazz was always in my house. My dad is an avid jazz fan and has been since the ’50s so I grew up with the music providing a backdrop to everyday life. I heard, but I didn’t always listen when I was younger. As my tastes veered to punk rock, blues, 1st wave raggae, etc., jazz fell to the wayside.I can’t remember when my taste started to change. Listening to WKCR and asking my dad more questions about the music and its various subgenres helped. Now that I really enjoy listening to jazz I am disheartened by a reality that I am the late adopter. Many jazz inventors, icons, and lumineries have passed, leaving the music with a small but devoted number of performers and fans. I can’t help but feeling that I missed the boat.