Next week WKCR-FM 89.9 www.wkcr.org, promises all-day music of Ornette Coleman and Bix Beiderbecke, linking the “free jazz” iconoclast (turning 80 Mar 9) to the Roaring ’20s jazz-mad kid cornetist/pianist (who would be 107 on March 10, if he hadn’t drunk himself to death at age 28 in 1931). Mark your calendars now!
According to Anabel Anderson, WKCR’s current co-director of jazz programming, the Ornette broadcast runs from 12 am Tuesday to 12 am Wednesday, the Bix from midnight Wednesday to 12 am Thursday. Maybe it’s a wee obsessive to want to listen to either Ornette or Bix or 24 hours (news and id breaks included, no ads on non-commercial radio. As powerfully influenced if not out-right directed by Phil Schapp, an extraordinary broadcaster and jazz/recordings historian, the Columbia University student-run upper-west-side Manhattan-based station is no stranger to marathon programming — indeed, that’s one of its hallmarks along with a jumble of authoritative and never-before-on-air djs, a vast range of unusual music, and a signal that’s not available city wide, except via the web, of course.