Sunday, November 06, 2011

Willis Conover, legendary jazz broadcaster for the Voice of America

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please go to this blog for Willis Conover and jazz in India http://bluerhythm.wordpress.com/. You might have come across it earlier but since you are such a fan of Willis-like me! I thought I'd draw your attention to it.

Deepanjan said...

Thanks! Can you tell me a little about yourself? I know you're from Bangalore.

Anonymous said...

Glad you liked it.I'm a retired person who now has time to browse the net and listen to music.My first exposure to jazz was listening to Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Benny Goodman and a few others at my uncle's place when I was in school.I was fortunate to be in Bombay during the first few Jazz Yatras where I first listened live to jazz of a high quality.Thanks to the net jazz is so easily accesible unlike the old days when Voice of America Jazz Hour was virtually our only source to listen to jazz.I enjoy your blog and hope you continue posting

Deepanjan said...

The mental profiling I had done of you is a close match!

You and I belong to a very select group of people that heard Conover and has access to the Internet. There was no article on Willis Conover in Wikipedia until I wrote one. People have edited and augmented it somewhat, but a lot remains to be desired.

I have built a huge archive of jazz albums but I feel terrible that I can't share it with Dad. He was a great jazz enthusiast and introduced me to it. Jazz is one of my strongest connections with him.

Maybe we can meet when I am in India.

Anonymous said...

I'll have a look at the Wikipedia article on Conover.The thing with Conover is that I think he was relatively unknown in the US as all his broadcasting was done to countries other than US.Anyway it was a great experience listening to him live at Jazz Yatra.What a fabulous baritone voice!
Its sad about your father and I can empathize with you on that.
Great to hear about your jazz collection.Recently a friend gave me a lot of Miles Davis almost the entire discography.Unfortunately not flac but then I guess one shouldn't be too greedy!
I would really like to meet you if you come to Bangalore.

Deepanjan said...

Flac tends to be an overkill sometimes! I guess only classical enthusiasts should spare the extra space and computing power it needs. An mp3 with a bitrate of 320kbps should be enough for most people. Also, a bulk of the jazz records in the 50s, 60s and 70s weren't very high in audio quality.

I wish you could try Pandora in India. Their customized radio stations are tuned to your exact taste. Last.fm is also similar. Unfortunately, access to it is rather limited in India.

I would suggest you try www.grooveshark.com's radio station. Their archive is the biggest.

Do you have Ella Fitzgerald's Complete Great American Songbook? It's a masterpiece.

Anonymous said...

Yes actually mp3 320 is pretty good. I have tried Grooveshark.As you say they have a very extensive archive. Must listen to more of it. When I was young and I guess during your father's days getting jazz music was so difficult.Every long playing record or LPs as they were called was a treasured posession.Your father must have been one of the early jazz enthusiasts.
I listen to Jazzradio.com and Pure Jazz and a few others.
I don't have Ella Fitzgerald's Complete Great America Songbook.Thanks for the tip. I'll try and get it.

Deepanjan said...

http://www.deepanjannag.com/2006/07/why-it-means-so-much-to-me.html

Deepanjan said...

Yes, Dad indeed had to struggle to get the vinyl records. Each one of them was an asset. I don't think the Indian market has improved in all these years. It was very difficult for me to buy cassettes on Dexter Gordon or Sonny Rollins. And we had to buy what we got, no choosing business!!

Willis Conover had once sent Dad a vinyl record from the VOA archives.