WNUA left us. And now 87.7 Smooth Jazz is gone. I was sorely disappointed when public radio took jazz off the air too. A city as stellar, as smooth, as sophisticated, as Chicago deserve a Smooth Jazz station. It was one of my favorite stations, because I am a jazz lover. It was my radio of choice at work in the office. Not too loud, not too beat aggressive, not too distracting, it was just right, playing nice music to work by. On the way to work I listen to WVAZ. I alternate between WVAZ and WVON in the afternoons. The blend was right. The shows were right. I loved Ramsey Lewis program Legends. Rick O’Dell had a wonderful program on Sunday nights that was really catching on as he played Chicago music exclusively. What a treat.
When WNUA went off the air, I was crazy. What happened? The advertisers seem lucrative and placed right. Clear Channel made the decision to take smooth jazz off and add Spanish. A decision, I am sure, reflective of a growing population and greater revenues. And now, 87.7 is replaced with hard rock. Please.
I thought 87.7 got it right, with a wonderful blend of jazz and rhythm and blues capturing a significant audience. It wasn’t pure jazz. It was fusion. It wasn’t old school exclusive it was mixed. It was just right, right in the pocket. Great sounds to hear Marvin Gaye along with George Benson. Just right. Aretha and Sinatra never hurt nobody.
As I search for a new jazz station to listen to, I realize there is no jazz station in Chicago. Why?
Chicago is too great, not to have a jazz station. Somebody hear me in radio land. Do you miss smooth jazz in Chicago?