Musical Memories

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

While punching buttons on my newly installed powerful car radio, I found jazz coming from a station in the Portland area. Cool sounds from a trumpet, Miles! My searching finger paused.

Caught in surprise, I wondered where I’ve been? What have I chosen to listen to after those old days of innovative new jazz? Why haven’t I continued following sounds from such as Brubeck, Coltrane, Monk, and Hancock? What about the talented ladies I loved, like Holiday, Fitzgerald, and Vaughn?

My radio listening in Central Oregon, and through an average component, has limited my choices. Easily accessible stations provide sounds that most current listeners enjoy. The best receptions come from stations providing country-western, rock ‘n roll, rap, pop, religious, and acid rock. Sometimes I tune into one of those, but my dial most often sets on NPR.

Thinking about my musical past, maybe I began to drift from listening to music when CDs started making way for online streaming. There had been problems with CDs. Players sensitive to dust often failed. The disks needed care and cleaning. Streaming seemed easier, but somehow not to me.

Don’t misunderstand, I like many modern artists and can listen with joy. NPR usually finds my music, and I’m attentive but don’t purchase recordings. These modern times offer a variety of streaming venues that capably fill many visual and sound needs. A streaming retrospective of something like Nina Simone’s work is to experience wonderful music from the past.

Finding the Portland jazz station reawakened me to artists and sounds from which today’s best music evolves. I’m not necessarily in tune with all that’s currently popular, but easily do appreciate the musical beginnings. The jazz station reminds that everything today stems from the swing era, the big bands and their singers. Then came the innovators who creatively improvised on earlier swing sounds.

I’m going modern, am streaming the Portland jazz station while writing. It’s making me remember, is refreshing, but also distresses. I’ve bypassed music and removed elements that touch my soul. These days of social and political stress make it feel extra-good to immerse my head in the old days of swing and jazz standards.

Dear Friends: The college station, KMHD Jazz Radio, is worthwhile listening. Diana

One thought on “Musical Memories

  1. That must be an amazing radio. I’ve never had a radio that would get KMHD or KBOO much this side of the Cascade crest. The Portland Classical station is good also.


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