under new management) WJAZ
by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Some things slipped out the backdoor… but fear not, for here on W-J-A-Z, jazz is forever. So poise your explorer, as sweetnighter and traveler mysterious, Dr. Wu, heightens your consciousness—
And heighten it, I will.
Got a bottle of relatively-inexpensive to oil my hours—and an abundance of what your standard Steppenwolf-type smokes. Got the gold for those of you who got the kiss-off minus the explain. Grab your splash of poison, put your toes in the upright position, and forget how many holes in your screens are letting in the atomic-powered mosquitoes. I’ve got songs and lies to sing for blondes, brawlers, and tattered loser alike. Gospel wails and fuzzy whims for every Sinnerman and brunet bombshell that’s undeniably-wounded by loneliness, and painful, painful, and painful. But before I unleash Nina, here’s that fine feature, featuring Paul Desmond, I promised everyone last Saturday night.
Let’s kick off WJAZ’s Saturday Night Late Night with Paul and Dave back in ‘64. This one is from Time Changes LP and it’s called, “Elementals”. You remember the lyrical frontiers Desmond and Brubeck put in your earhole, right?
I still recall the night I first heard that. Took my head clean off.
Now here’s Paul, with el supremo guitarist, Jim Hall, doing his quickie, “Take Ten”. It’s a goodie in 10/8 from his ’63 solo release by the same name.
Let’s close the set with Paul’s cover of Simon and Artie’s, “America”. Might be just a dream to a few of us these days, and hey, truth of it she’s sporting a few less teeth and if you look close, she limps, but she’s out there somewhere, right? This hot little swinger caressed the airwaves in back in 19 and 69.
I’m guessin’ its oven-hot in them cages and riverside bungalows tonight and you all got tales to tell, so after I spin the next tune, we’ll take a call or two.
What’s say we fire up a charmer from my teenagehood. Back before Doc was a doc, Doc Holiday—my first guru, used to spin platters on the legendary WDE, this is one he dropped on me back in ’77. Eric Gale shakin’-out a little light, urban funk on “Ginseng Woman”.
That was sweet. Was sweet first time I heard it too, but before we get to the next platters I have ready for you, let’s take a call.
Hello, Line 4. You’re on. What news flash do you have for us tonight?
—Yeah, hiya. My wife and me were just watching Personal Stuff on TV and we wanted to know what that song they have for the theme song is? We know we heard it before… long time ago, on the radio and you being a disc jockey, we figured you’d know what it was. And I want to let all the guys out there know, if they ain’t watching this show, Brandi is sure worth spending an hour with. I’d like to get spend the night hanging with her in her hot tub. Brick house like that, bet lot of guys would.
I’m normally watching Jeopardy reruns when the Nasty Wives of Wall Street and I’m the Hottest Diva in L.A. and Eye Candy/Arm Trophy Wives are on vapid-vision, so Doc’s unable to answer that one. But here’s a tip from the WJAZ Kill Ugly Media Handbook, a satisfactory portion of factual information about the television show you’re interested in can be found in the show’s closing credits.
Hello, Line 3. What on your mind tonight?
—Um, hi, Doc. This is James, from East Andco. That last call, that caller is watching something that is damn-near porn—all those talentless, L.A. wannabe-celebrities strutting half-naked just like common whores, they wouldn’t know grace or glamour if it bit them on the behind. He got me thinking about how much darkness and damnation is on the television these days. You’ve got zombies shows on prime time television and vampires, and every kind of gate to some hell is wide open… it all just gets darker and darker. Makes you think the End Days, you know like “Revelations” in the Bible, might be here. You know what I’m talking about?
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.” Thanks, Matt, or was it Luke? The way I have it scoped, just about every nation and culture, in every age, tacks a “This is the end” up on the charts and yet, we’re still ticking; might be a few scratches on the face of the Timex, but the thing works.
Keeping the hours I keep, I’m guilty of not getting out much these days, so I haven’t chatted with Carl Sagen lately, but last I remember, it’s a vast cosmos, where “I” is just plain ridiculous, and I rather doubt it’s taking notice of our little ant march. Plutonia to Arcturus, most of it is cold and dangerous. Perhaps we should have an extended enlightenment that shines the light of its spinning satellites on our old stargazing guru, Sun Ra next week? That way, all the doomcriers in Late-Line land can discover there’s love in outer space, but it doesn’t come from some Grand Celestial Wazoo?
Hello, Line 1. Inquiring, or answering?
—Hello Doctor. I had this idea. Just to be different, you should use a Ouija Board one night to pick what songs you play.
Thanks, but I don’t need any help from The Beyond in picking the next track. And with that thought, away we go.
~~~(—Hi, Doc. My name is, Bobbi. Bobbi Dervan. I listen to you all the time. I find you and your show irresistible, and… I wanted to know… if I could persuade you into having a drink . . . . Or coffee? I’m not a crazy, I own Books on the Corner on Novak and 12th, and I have a MA in Literature. And I was also hoping you might play some Charles Lloyd for me?) (Hi. Um… Thank you. Maybe I’ll stop by your shop one afternoon and we’ll talk . . . Let me find a Lloyd cut for you.) (—I hope to see you soon, Doc. Bye for now.)~~~~~~.~
That was, of course, Miles, performing his classic, “So What” from Kind of Blue; an often visited theme around here. Now let’s slip into Chick Corea’s “The One Step” before we take the next call. This one’s perfect for wing-dings and get-togethers with your affable comrades.
Hello, Line 3. You’re with Doctor Wu on WJAZ.
—What’s up, Doc. I just tuned in and wanted to chime-in quick and tell Mr.-Dark-&-Bleakness-Comin’-Everyday, getting naked can be a balm. Condemn not. And if you don’t like the channel, change it. Ain’t like you have to get up and walk all the way across the room these days.
Condemn not. Always been my policy… unless, you need to call them on their intolerance.
While we wait for our next call, we’ve had a request for something by Charles Lloyd and I’ve looked through the stacks. Picked out a few to offer the caller. Think I’ll start with “Nocturne” from 1993’s The Call, and follow that with, “Figure in Blue, Memories of Duke”, from the same recording, and then we’ll close the set with the gorgeous, “When Miss Jessye Sings” from ’91’s Notes From Big Sur.
This haunted and romantic set is for, bookish Bobbi.
Sublime work by Mr. Lloyd, and lookie-lookie, another light is flashing… let’s pull back the curtain and see who and what.
—Yo, Doc. How’s it hanging, brother? I was trying to cool off with a few brews and thinking about Frank Zappa and wanted to know why you never whip “Waka/Jawaka” or any of his other rockin’ little boogies on the po-jama people in your audience?
Maybe the next time we’re sponsored by folks with cure-alls for your various dental hygiene dilemmas we’ll spin some Frankie.
Hello, you’re on WJAZ.
—I’m on? Can you hear me?
Good. I live down in the Flats. South Riverside. Been hearin’ there’s some conspiracy against us, like in all of us. Word is, someone at some ceremony started brewin’ something blasphemous and it’s going to rise up soon and fulfill all those Nostradamus prophecies. You got any word on it?
Truth of it, I haven’t seen any mention in the “Enquirer”, and at last bed-check, “Weekly World News” has ceased publication. When it comes to prophecies, blasphemies, and oddities in general, I think your current best bets are, Dr. Mellaart’s radio addresses against the Protocols of Ugliness, or Reverend JW Paul Ballard, who is always standing “righteous” in his battle against aliens, mutants, annihilators and demon-appeasers… and those mermaids, you know how entangling they can be. You could call the FBI and inquire if their X-Files division has uncovered anything noteworthy of late? And you might check Alex Jones’ websites for information about the schemes and plots of everyone, from pro-life groups to the A.I.’s who are trying to take over the good old USA.
Here on WJAZ we play jazz. Miles. Trane. Monk. We’re not part of the Conet, nor do we have any inside info on what caused the current Apocalypse. Sorry to report, here at WJAZ we do not have a crystal ball and I flunked the course on reading tea leaves, so I can’t even confirm the rumors that the Glamour Professionals are holed-up in a makeshift studio somewhere in Interzone, recording a new album—
—No matter what evil and mayhem is headed our way, Doc, we’ll be ready. We’re arming ourselves here. Got to. Semis and carloads of ammo, packing in the food and water too. Some of your other demographics won’t believe, and they’re going to get hit hard. You need to be alert, Doc.
I want to thank you for your concern, but I believe I’m in good hands. Last week, I spilled the salt shaker in the studio, thought I heard spreading salt around was lucky or something, and at Casa Wu, I have a lot of butter knives in my kitchen, and my cat, Dupree, is a trained attack cat—hell, a moth comes in my kitchen and Dupree turns in a Wolverine performance that’s Oscar worthy.
You’re listening to WJAZ, unlimited directions in jazz, and talk, at 98point3 on your FM dial. Spend the graveyard shift with Doctor Wu. That’s me. I’m not the king of technology and I’ve never tried a crazy diet, but my jazz-ing is great and it’s safe as milk. Results may vary.
And now it’s time for WJAZ’s If Bullwinkle Could Have His Own Poetry Corner, So Can Doctor Wu.
The clock has no roots.
It never reads.
Choosing entering and entering,
but dead men
waiting to be born.
No calls please. I’m well aware that was not “Wee Willie Winkie”. Then again, I’m just a DJ; I don’t have the literary connections that Bullwinkle had. Strike that. If anyone out there has E. E. Cummings number in the Great Beyond, or Mr. Mojo Risin’s, or even Baudelaire’s, feel free to call me. I’d gladly agree to be their literary agent for any new works they may have composed while poetically sequencing pantomimes, phantoms, or great disputes, they’ve seen, or been a part of, while on the Other Side.
And dead poets bring something to mind. With Halloween blooming in a couple of weeks and the witching hour almost upon us, let’s dig into the trick-or-treat bag and fun it up for a bit. We’ll kick it off with a pearl from 1958. Here’s Philly Joe Jones, doing “Blues for Dracula”.
Here in Doctor Wu’s haunted house of hollow wounds, one dose of wicked deserves another, so here’s the unparalleled, Nina Simone, performing “I Put a Spell on You”. And no, I didn’t forget “Sinner Man”; I’ll be getting to that later in the show.
Hey Samhainiacs, Walpurgisers, and, I suppose, any LaVeyans that might be out there listening, can you say, Medeski, Martin, and Wood? Knew you could—wanted to. Here’s a MMW double-shot of “Anonymous Skulls” and “Dracula”.
Hello, Caller. You’re on W. J. A. Z.
—Hi Doc. Butter knives and attack cats won’t do you much good when the monsters come around, wanting to get their cold hands on you. Machete works fine if there are only a few zombies, but butter knives? Hell, only thing that’s going to be spread around is your guts, and speaking of zombies, did you see that super cool zombie-flick Pontypool? You being a DJ and all—not that you’re a shock-jock, just thought you might have seen it.
The film is not my usual cup of meat—I’m a diehard drama-with-extra-drama kind of moviegoer, but I did see it. Enjoyed it. As to the question of labeling them zombies, Bruce McDonald, the director, said, they were victims of a virus, not zombies.
—They sure looked like zombies to me. Acted like them too.
I think we’ll discuss zombies and all the other creatures of the night in two week when I do my Halloween show. There’s another line lit, so let’s move on. Thanks for ringing me up.
Hello, Caller. It’s your turn up on the soapbox. Fire away.
—It’s Lenny from the brake-pad factory. Johnnie Bush over here has you on the radio and I wanted to say, if them mermaids that got talked about before ever mated with any Bigfoots, we’d all be in a pack of troubles. Bet they’d have babies like that Batboy-thing… maybe worst.
There is worst and there is worst. Nessy falls for Godzilla and they honeymoon in Manhattan. Erzsebet Bathory becomes the CEO of Avon. You’d think that pair of scenarios would stretch, skew, and mangle a few little brains, yes? Here’s another to consider, at the behest of Aleister Crowley, H. P. Lovecraft was visited by Aiwass and Lovecraft’s beasties are real and waiting for a lonesome night in October so they can come out and show us the roots-to-fruits of worst.
My dad, who picked up a good deal of the rational he like to impart at Rutgers and from reading books, used to tell me, when it rains the worms come out. Appears to me, with Halloween approaching, some of the inhabitants of Dimension X, wanting their moment on the stage, are surfacing.
Could be, the real worst than worst is, the insidious Big Stupid that consumes everything and everyone it encounters on its mad dash down every street of miseries in Mama America.
We’ll take one more call and get back to jazz here on… WJAZ.
Hello, Line 2. You’re on WJAZ.
—Hello, Doctor Wu. I wanted to ask if you think monsters get the blues.
I think I’ll respond to that with this track by Paul Motion, with tenorman, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell on guitar, and Charlie Haden on bass. Here’s “Last Night When We Were Young” from the essential, Paul Motian On Broadway box set.
As most of my regular listeners know, it’s nearly impossible for me to play only one cut by Paul and the guys, so I had to slip in “Someone to Watch Over Me” from volume one.
Leafing through the “Gazette”, I’ve come upon an item that should be of interest to WJAZ listeners. Next Friday evening, Mrs. Harryette Marinkovich’s Amethyst Book Circle is holding a reading and recital. Jane Walcott, Professor of English at Baldwin and author of Four Year View & Other Rain Poems, and other local poets will be reading jazz poetry. They will be accompanied by the Winter Stone String Quartet. The event will be held in the McChesney Room of the Burroway Street branch of the library. I’ll be here, and I’ll be hoping one of my listeners will attend and we’ll get some feedback on the gig?
Well, Mr. Thermometer says, it’s still an oven out there, and the clock that regulates my time here states we have several more hours to spend together, so without any additional falderal let’s get back to the tunes here on WJAZ—