Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The New is Live!

After a lot of hard work (and plenty of procrastination, too) the new is finally here! What's so new about it, you ask? Well, it is sporting a new look, a new layout, and a dozen brand new channels.

The new channels are: Big Band, Composers: Ellington, Live Jazz, Groove Jazz, Decade: '50s, Give the Drummers Some, Decade: '60s, Cool Jazz, New Orleans, Trumpet Jazz, New Releases, and Cutting Edge. The channels are then broken up into six categories: "Jazz by Style," "Jazz by Instruments," "Jazz by Region," "Jazz by Composer," "Jazz by Decade," and "Other Channels."

The really exciting part: starting next Tuesday, 2/10, a new channel will be rolled out every week. Look for more channels from every category in the coming months, including style channels like "Straight-Ahead" and "Avant-Garde," instrument channels like "Trombone Jazz" and "Good Vibes," more composer, region and decade channels, and creative concoctions, such as a channel that only plays music by people who were in the historic "Great Day in Harlem" photograph.

Our official new slogan is "The future of Jazz Radio." Even though our design scheme happens to be a little retro (it's based on Cannonball Adderley's classic "Somethin' Else"), I think the tagline is more than apt. What is the past and present of jazz radio? One person in a DJ booth deciding what gets played. This isn't necessarily a bad thing: if it's a good DJ, you will likely hear a great combination of timeless favorites and pleasant new discoveries. But you have no say in what music you hear, and if you don't like a particular song, you're stuck with it for the next 5-9 minutes. With AccuJazz, you can pick a channel that suits your tastes (my favorite right now is "Cutting Edge," this week's featured channel).

On top of that, you can "deselect" an artist form the artist list in the AccuJazz player if you don't want to hear them anymore. Say you like an artist enough to keep them in the list, but you don't like a song of theirs that comes up? Just skip to the next song.

Also, you will find a lot of music on AccuJazz that would never make it on the playlists of a traditional radio station because we have so many places to put it. Pretty much every song on the upcoming Avant-Garde channel would be deemed too "out" to make it on the fm dial, but there are plenty of listeners out there (maybe you?) who love that music. I think you get the idea. Jazz radio is great and all, but the future is here.

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