Supporting Jazz and The 4 Lands Region of Central Europe

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Overview *   
Behind The Scenes - Part 1
Behind The Scenes - Part 2
Behind The Scenes - Part 3
Behind The Scenes - Part 4
How To Listen To Jazz - Part 01
How To Listen To Jazz - Part 02
Next Time *  How To Listen To Jazz - Part 03

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Our Radio Shows - Behind The Scenes Part 1
Welcome to my Personal Notes feature where I explain and discuss topics relating to the JAZZNET247 Project and the Genre. This is the First Part about our Radio Show's Production.
wes george

Having worked in conventional commercial radio for 4 years in the late 70's and 80's and the Internet Radio Digital Age for the past 28 I set out here to uncover what I learned along the way which may be insighful to radio listeners, music fans and maybe useful to current and future broadcasters. I will break it all down into 3 distinctive areas i.e.

1) Research and Assemby
2) Preparation, Production and Upload
3) Reporting and Marketing

I was fortunate to have had a Marketing background and learned the programming skillsets I needed along the way through my Marketing and Multimedia company, I also have a decent IT system here with multiple computers, lots of screens and professional software to use as a basis for the radio station. However in 1994 when I started out everything was a learning curve and it took a lot of Development and Trial and Error.

Most importantly the station was to be legal with royalties paid back to the artists, it isn't much, but it is their livelihood, and after using conventional licensing for broadcasting I discovered the company I use currently i.e. LIVE365, albeit in the old days it was their former incarnation.

For reference purposes for this series I will use our old STREETJAZZ show and how it developed from 'Soup To Nuts' each week. The show typically takes 20 - 30 hours from Research To Marketing.

So the process started by 'Introducing The Station' to Record Companies, Servicing Agents and to the Artists themselves, many Indie artists working on a tight budget are not signed to a record company and cannot afford to have their music serviced by a music marketing company. I was very fortunate to build up a wonderful relationship over the years and I still receive most of the latest releases each week within the jazz sub-genres that I feature i.e. Smooth, Vocal and Brazilian Bossa Jazz.

For every show I have a repeated Pre-Determined Format which again was finely tuned 'over time' and each of the shows have 24 tracks split into 6 segments with 4 tracks in each. Our STREETJAZZ show has Features which included :-

1) Featured Artist Of The Week - We play two tracks from this artist of artists, usually one from the past, and one which had just been released, These songs appear on Tracks 05 and 17 on each show.

2) The STREETJAZZ VAULTS SEGUE - We play four songs from the past 6 decades from many of the Artists who paved the way for the music that we listen to today. These songs appear on Tracks 09 - 12 on each show. (LIsteners may also enjoy our dedicated STREETJAZZ VAULTS SHOW extended to 24 tracks on each show).

3) Our BRAZILIAN BOSSA SEGUE - We play two Brazilian Flavoured vocals and two instrumentals, .These songs appeared on Tracks 13 - 16 on each show. (LIsteners may also enjoy our dedicated DREAMS OF RIO SHOW extended to 24 tracks on each show)

4) Our TIP FOR THE TOP - We play a track which I think stands a good chance of entering the charts in the future. This song appears on Track 21 on each show.

Another trick to ensure separation are a 'Station ID', 'Artist Liner', 'Jingles', 'Other Language Comforters', 'Artist Advert' or 'Grapevine Info' insert, but broadcasting as we do to a truly global audience in 115 countries whereby 85% of the audience don't speak English as a first language, I always use 'Voice-Overs' and 'Other Inserts' sparingly during all 2 hour shows.

With these Features included in the Playlist we have circa 10 - 12 Slots available each week for New Releases and we split these throughout the Playlist making sure to start the show off with a vocal and have a vocal track every 2 or 3 places throughout the Playlist. By its very nature, today's Smooth Jazz genre is very Instrumental orientated and can become tedious to a Listener very quickly with one instrumental track one after another.

Also with this in mind we do not play the same instrument consecutively as two sax tracks together may end up sounding like one long track.

Selecting the Tracks for the Playlist means Listening to EVERY INCOMING TRACK which are then Weighted. I understand that Music is a very Subjective so all I can do is to use myown knoweledge and experience as a Guideline.

When I say Listening to every track - I really mean playing a 10 to 20 second Sample at circa 1 minute and 30 seconds into the Timeline of the Track which for me is usually enough.

Weighting meant Categorizing all of the tracks into 5 Categories  i.e. 1 - 5 :-

1) These are Original, Memorable and Outstanding on a first listen. Very rare.

2) These are original, well played and have a Memorable Hook after ONLY ONE LISTEN. My key to this Category is that I can remember some of the song after only one play, maybe the Hook LIne, or maybe a Solo.

3) These are well structured and played and fit into the Genre very well.

4) These are 'Me Too' tracks with little originality and use drum machines or sequencers behind a lead instrument. Vocal tracks are usually poorly sung, maybe poor harmonies or they have poor lyrics.

5) These tracks are poorly played, no originality and artists who are clearly jumping on the bandwagon as Smooth Jazz is popular at this time.

Categories 4 and 5 don't make it on to our Playlists and we Select from Categories 1 to 3. Many tracks are occasionally ' Carried Over ' to another week, sometimes just because of the glut of a particular instrument on that week i.e. sax tracks.

Another Acid Test is ' Which Tracks would make it in to My Own Personal Music Collection' and that I would Listen To myself ?'.

Once the 24 Tracks are chosen I am ready to start Preparation of the Tracks which I'll discuss in Part 2.

Note :- All of our shows use most of the elements that I describe in this article, and you have a number of ways to tune in to the latest show including :-

JazzNet247 Radio Europe Listening Options -
* Tune In @ Using The LIVE365 Player
* Tune In @ Using The StreetJazz Player

Next Time on Personal Notes
- Preparation, Production and Upload - This is where things get tricky and Sequencial Preparation Order is paramount for an Equalized Output and Delivery.

Wes George

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